Fyre Fest founder Billy McFarland has been ordered to repay the $26 million he admitted to stealing from investors, according to a judgment issued against him Friday (March 9) in Manhattan federal court
Earlier this week McFarland pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud in connection with the the disastrous Bahaman music festival. Following an FBI investigation, McFarland was arrested in June and then pled not guilty to charges of wire fraud and making false statements to a bank in October. On Tuesday (March 6), a spokesperson at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York told Billboard that McFarland had accepted a plea deal. He’s also facing eight to 10 years in prison and will be sentenced June 21.
Prosecutors allege he misappropriated $26 million from investors, using fake documents about his financial holdings to trick investors and a ticket company into handing over millions for the festival that was set on an island in the Bahamas with promises of A-level talent like Major Lazer and Blink-182. When attendees arrived, instead of luxury accommodations, they found a mostly unfinished festival space, a lack of food and chaotic conditions. Several lawsuits have been filed against McFarland, and the LLC that officially owns Fyre has been forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
‘I deeply regret my actions, and I apologize to my investors, team, family, and supporters who I let down,” McFarland reportedly said in court when pleading guilty to both counts.