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The concert promoter behind the infamous Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland, has plead guilty to fraud. Originally having plead not guilty, he only recently changed his statements after reaching a plea agreement.
He faces eight to ten years in prison along with a $300,000 fine under the plea agreement. The Fyre Festival, a promised Grade-A music festival in the Bahamas last summer, was a total blowout. Festival guests were promised bands like Blink-182 and spectacular gastronomy fair, but instead showed up to leaky tents, cancelled shows, and cheese sandwiches. As the failure of the festival blew up on Twitter as attendees angrily demanded refunds, FBI investigations began.
McFarland admits he was in over his head in planning the Fyre Festival. He severely underestimated how much money and resources necessary to put on the festival he advertised. He lied to investors about Fyre Media and personal finances in order to gain more. Each of his fraudulent choices are worth up to 20 years in prison. His plea agreements will likely lessen this sentence to the eight to ten figure. McFarland will be sentenced June 21.
Additionally, McFarland must confront the liquidation and forced bankruptcy of his company. He also must pay back the $26 million taken from investors. During the making of the festival, McFarland convinced an investor to buy $2 million worth of tickets for future festivals. Now he also faces civil charges based on this. Further more, he faces many other civil suits from individuals.
“I deeply regret my actions, and I apologize to my investors, team, family and supporters who I let down,” McFarland told the Associated Press.