Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Fyre Festival Promoter Billy McFarland Pleads Guilty To Fraud

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi Billy McFarland 26 copped to two counts of wire fraud in Manhattan Federal Court related to the Fyre Festival
Stacy Diaz | 07 March, 2018, 11:01

"Those lies included false documents and information", he told U.S. District Judge Naomi Rice Buchwald.

Concert promoter Billy McFarland, who promised to stage a "life-changing" Caribbean music festival in the Bahamas past year and instead presided over a fiasco, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and faces up to a decade behind bars.

"I grossly underestimated the resources that would be necessary to hold an event of this magnitude", he added.

He was arrested and charged in late June, accused of using misrepresentations to raise millions of dollars by vastly overstating the app's revenues, the festival's prospects and his own finances.

It was being spearheaded by McFarland and (weirdly) rapper Ja Rule, and was spruiked across social media by celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski.

Customers hoping to see Blink-182 and the hip hop act Migos arrived to learn music acts were canceled.

The millennial entrepreneur whose 2017 Fyre Festival began with promises of music and luxury in the Bahamas and descended into a chaos of badly constructed tents, cold cheese sandwiches and a lack of sufficient bathrooms may soon find himself in the no-frills accommodations of a federal prison. It said the festival's inadequate food, water, shelter and medical care left attendees stranded on a remote island in a "dangerous and panicked situation".

Billy McFarland may spend a decade in prison after admitting he defrauded 80 investors and a ticket broker out of more than US$26 million. "He now awaits sentencing for his admitted swindle".

McFarland's sentencing hearing is set for June, however, he has more than just this sentencing to deal with.

McFarland, whose concert scheme grew out of a digital application for event promotion, admitted in court that he was out of his league.

The Fyre Media chief also falsified stock ownership statements, showing investors that he owns more stocks in a publicly traded company than he actually does.