fyre festival

Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Facing Decades in Prison

McFarland. Photo: PatrickMcMullan/PatrickMcMullan/PMC

Though Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland originally pleaded not guilty last October to fraud charges stemming from his nightmare luxury music festival, he’s now owning up to his mess. TMZ reports that McFarland plead guilty on Tuesday in federal court to two counts of wire fraud. He was accused of scamming investors out of $1 million to fund the festival by exaggerating his company Fyre Media’s financial stability, including false statements about revenue, insurance policies, and bank loans. McFarland now faces up to 40 years in prison, with each charge carrying a maximum of 20 years; he’ll be sentenced in June. McFarland and Ja Rule, who co-created the festival, also face a class-action suit from the festivalgoers accusing them of running a Ponzi scheme. New documents revealed on Monday reported that McFarland blew hundreds of thousands of dollars on absurd extravagances for the festival, including a yacht for headliner Blink-182.

Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Pleads Guilty to Fraud