Billy McFarland, Fyre Fest Organizer, Released from Prison Two Years Early
The organizer of the ill-fated Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland, is no longer behind bars. The convicted fraudster was released on Wednesday, more than two years ahead of the end of his six-year sentence, according to multiplereports.
McFarland was released into the care of a halfway house in New York City, where he is expected to reside until his release in August, NBC News reports.
Jason Russo, McFarland's attorney, told NBC News that his client intends to "put together a team of good people for a solid plan to make amends and pay" what he owes in restitutions to those he defrauded.
The Fyre Festival made headlines in April 2017 when hundreds of festival-goers -- who paid up to $100,000 for tickets and were promised gourmet food and accommodations -- were left stranded on the island after arriving to an unfinished site and a lack of food and staffing, which quickly turned into chaos. Aside from the lack of accommodations, the festival also promised musical acts Blink-182, Migos and more, as well as appearances from influencers like Kendall Jenner, but failed to deliver.
McFarland had been serving a six-year sentence, handed down in 2018, for defrauding investors of more than $26 million. McFarland admitted to lying to investors to secure funding.
“I grossly underestimated the resources that would be necessary to hold an event of this magnitude,” he said when he plead guilty to the charges against him, the Associated Press reported in 2018. “In an attempt to raise what I thought were needed funds, I lied to investors about various aspects of Fyre Media and my personal finances. Those lies included false documents and information.”
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