A decide sentenced Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland to 6 years in jail on Thursday, slamming him as a “serial fraudster” for orchestrating a $26 million rip-off. McFarland, 26, based the disastrous music occasion, which rapper Ja Rule helped manage and promote. He later lured buyers right into a bogus ticket rip-off.
The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office had pushed for as much as 20 years in federal lockup.
McFarland’s attorneys had requested Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald for leniency due to “untreated psychological sickness.” His attorneys had additionally argued in sentencing papers that “Billy has an excellent coronary heart that has been led astray by poor judgment…” Buchwald didn’t purchase his mea culpa. “Mr. McFarland is a fraudster and never merely a misguided teenager,” she stated, calling him a “serial fraudster” shortly thereafter.
During the sentencing, McFarland gave a brief assertion contained in the courtroom. “My regret over this has been crushing,” he stated, his drab khaki jail garb standing in stark distinction to his previously flashy way of life.
Fyre Festival had been touted as a luxurious occasion, scheduled to run over two weekends in April and May of 2017 on the Bahamas island of Exuma. Admission price ranged from $1,500 to a whopping $250,000. Top fashions — akin to Emily Ratajkowski, Kendall Jenner, and Bella Hadid — had been additionally paid to advertise the occasion on social media. The gourmand meals, luxe lodging, and high-profile acts McFarland had promised had been nonexistent. Attendees stated there weren’t even sufficient bogs, and that they had been served inedible meals.
McFarland pleaded responsible in March to tricking buyers who dumped cash into his ill-fated fete. “While my intention and energy was directed to organizing a professional competition, I grossly underestimated the sources that might be essential to carry an occasion of this magnitude,” McFarland advised Buchwald on the time. “In an try to lift what I believed had been wanted funds, I lied to buyers about varied features of Fyre Media and my private funds.” McFarland additionally admitted in July to operating a ticket rip-off whereas he was out on bail and awaiting sentencing for the Fyre counts.