Head of Fyre Festival Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland will spend up to 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges in a Manhattan court earlier today. He can request leniency.

"I deeply regret my actions, and I apologize to my investors, team, family and supporters who I let down", McFarland told U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan.

"My intention and effort was directed to organizing a legitimate festival", he said in court on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.

In a document from the US Department of Justice, it says: "McFarland repeatedly made materially false statements to investors about Fyre Media's revenue and income, and manipulated Fyre Media's financial statements and supporting documentation to hide Fyre Media's true financial condition". Remember when he announced he was going to make it up to ticket holders by having another Fyre Festival in 2018?

When guests arrived for the first weekend, expecting to see acts like Migos and Blink 182, the festival site looked more like a war zone.

The attendees didn't get promised music headliners, gourmet meals, luxury rooms, and beach parties, and instead couldn't even find adequate bathroom facilities, suitable accommodations, or edible food, the Daily News said.

A "lack of adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care created a unsafe and panicked situation among attendees - suddenly finding themselves stranded on a remote island without basic provisions ― that was closer to "The Hunger Games" or "Lord of the Flies" than Coachella", a concertgoer's class-action lawsuit alleged.

He was arrested and charged in late June, accused of using misrepresentations to raise millions of dollars by vastly overstating the app's revenues, the festival's prospects and his own finances. He also agreed to forfeit more than $26 million.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said McFarland, 26, concocted "a scheme to defraud individuals by inducing them to invest millions of dollars in Fyre Media". "He now awaits sentencing for his admitted swindle".

McFarland is free on bail and living with his parents in New Jersey.

McFarland's sentencing is scheduled for June 21.

  • Kyle Peterson