Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Asks for Early Prison Release Amid Coronavirus

McFarland has four years remaining in his six-year sentence. Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP/Shutterstock

Fyre Festival’s mastermind Billy McFarland asked to be released from prison early on Tuesday, April 14, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, McFarland’s lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Buchwald for compassionate release, citing McFarland’s preexisting conditions, including asthma, which “make him particularly vulnerable to catching and suffering from severe or fatal consequences of the virus.” His lawyers also noted that McFarland has had heart issues in prison and is on the “‘extreme’ scale of the allergy spectrum.” McFarland is currently housed at a federal prison in Elkton, Ohio, where four inmates have died due to coronavirus complications. “Mr. McFarland is not a risk to the community nor a threat to public safety,” reads the letter. “The crime to which he pled guilty for was the nonviolent financial crime of wire fraud. However, he is a low risk of recidivism for such financial crimes as he has explained that he has a supportive family that has attested to providing for his basic needs.”

Mc Farland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in 2018, landing him a six-year sentence. Nonviolent prisoners across the country have been granted early or temporary release as a result of the pandemic. Even Tekashi 6ix9ine, who had about four months left in his sentence, was moved from Queens Detention Facility to home confinement after his lawyer argued for release given 6ix9ine’s asthma and preexisting conditions. With music festivals being pushed further and further back, at least we know there’s no chance of a Fyre Festival round two.

Fyre Fest’s Billy McFarland Asks for Early Prison Release