Promoter of failed Fyre Festival gets 6 years in prison
Billy McFarland leaves federal court after his arraignment in New York on Saturday, July 1, 2017. McFarland is charged with scheming to defraud investors in his company, Fyre Media. His Fyre Festival was billed as an ultra-luxurious event with headliners including rockers Blink-182 and the hip-hop act Migos, but the show was canceled after performers bowed out. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, October 11, 2018 4:40PM EDT
NEW YORK -- A federal judge has given the creator of the highly publicized, failed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas a six-year prison term.
Billy McFarland was sentenced Thursday in Manhattan federal court. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald called him a "serial fraudster."
He admitted defrauding investors of $26 million in the 2017 music festival and over $100,000 in a fraudulent ticket-selling scheme after his arrest in the festival scam.
Buchwald says McFarland deserved a long prison term because he disrespected the criminal justice system by lying to law enforcement agents when they learned about the ticket-selling business.
Speaking in a courtroom packed with friends and family and at least one victim, McFarland apologized as family members cried behind him.
He says he hit rock bottom and plans to become a better person.