Repentant Billy McFarland pleads guilty to fraud as he faces hefty prison sentence
Billy McFarland, 26, entered the plea in Manhattan federal court in a deal with prosecutors that suggested he serve between eight and 10 years in prison.
Billed as the “cultural experience of the decade”, the Fyre Festival was promoted on social media by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and other models and celebrities with festival packages ranging from US$1200 to over US$100,000.
Ticket buyers hoping to see Blink-182 and the hip hop act Migos and stay in 5-star accommodation arrived on the Bahamian island of Exuma to find the music acts had pulled out and their 5-star accommodation consisted of emergency canvas tents. Needless to say a backlash shortly erupted with the hashtag #fyrefraud.
“I deeply regret my actions, and I apologise to my investors, team, family and supporters who I let down,” said McFarland.
“I grossly underestimated the resources that would be necessary to hold an event of this magnitude. In an attempt to raise what I thought were needed funds, I lied to investors about various aspects of Fyre Media and my personal finances. Those lies included false documents and information.”