Fyre Festival Founder Pleads Guilty To Fraud Over History-Making Stuff-Up

Hey, remember Fyre Festival? The island music festival experience that underdelivered so wildly on its luxurious promises that its name became shorthand for ‘unmitigated disaster’? Yeah, its founder has just plead guilty to fraud in front of a US federal court.

Billy McFarland today entered guilty pleas to two charges of wire fraud, after prosecutors alleged he raised more than US $1 million in the lead-up to the event.

It is alleged McFarland told would-be Fyre Media investors that his company had racked up millions of bucks by booking artists, when it had actually only scraped together US $60,000 over the years.

McFarland was also accused of doctoring a stock ownership statement to make it appear he had US $2.5 million in equity when he actually commanded US $1500. Organisers then used those statements to secure last-minute loans to bolster the festival, prosecutors alleged.

A spokesperson for the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York told TMZ each of his charges carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. However, it’s unlikely he’ll cop that full punishment when he’s sentenced in June.

In addition to the very real possibility of McFarland spending time in the slammer for his fraudulent dealings, further revelations about how Fyre Festival spent those ill-gotten gains have only done more to embarrass organisers.

Page Six reports the festival spent US $160,000 on a yacht for planned headliners Blink-182 while being unable to provide running water to a good portion of attendees, and spent around US $260,000 on carpet. For a music festival. 

Oh, he’s also facing a slew of civil suits from disgruntled attendees. We can only imagine how Ja Rule feels right about now.