Promoter of failed Fyre Festival is sentenced to six years in prison

Judge calls Billy McFarland, who cancelled the 2017 music festival in the Bahamas, a ‘serial fraudster’ for stealing from investors and ticket buyers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 4:32am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 4:32am

A federal judge in Manhattan has given the promoter of last year’s highly publicised failed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas a six-year prison term.

Billy McFarland was sentenced Thursday by US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, who called him a “serial fraudster”.

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McFarland admitted defrauding investors of $26 million in the 2017 music festival and of more than $100,000 in a fraudulent ticket-selling scheme after his arrest in the festival scam.

Buchwald said that McFarland deserved a long prison term because he disrespected the criminal justice system by lying to law enforcement agents when they learned about the ticket-selling scheme.

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Speaking in a courtroom packed with friends and family and at least one victim, McFarland apologised as family members cried behind him.

He said that he had hit rock bottom and planned to become a better person.