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Failed Promoter Of Doomed Fyre Festival Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud

Failed Fyre Festival Promoter Billy McFarland Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud
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Mar. 6 2018, Published 9:23 p.m. ET

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The man behind the failed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas has gone down in flames.

Promoter Billy McFarland pleaded guilty on Tuesday to wire fraud for duping investors of the would-be concert. He now faces eight to 10 years behind bars.

McFarland, 26, admitted to using fake documents to trick investors to what was billed as a high-priced, high-profile festival on the Bahama island of Exuma over two weekends in April and May of 2017. Popular musicians like Blink 182 and Migos were to entertain, while the finest accommodations and gourmet food were promised.

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Instead, guests of the event — who paid up to $12,000 per ticket — were greeted with deteriorating and dirty tents, no bathrooms or running water, and only simple cheese sandwiches to eat.

“I deeply regret my actions and I want to apology to my team, my investors, my supporters, and my family who I let down,” McFarland said in Manhattan federal court. “I lied to investors about various aspects of Fyre Media and my personal finances. Those lies included false documents and information that I am aware were transmitted over interstate lines.”


McFarland also revealed that he tricked a ticket reselling company into paying him $2 million for a block of advanced tickets to the festival, while having lied about his company’s finances.

Under the guidelines of the guilty plea, McFarland now faces as much as eight to 10 years in prison, without appeal, at his June 21 sentencing.

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