Fyre Festival Founder Pleads Not Guilty to Fraud

Billy McFarland charged with wire fraud and false statements

Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland has recently pleaded not guilty to two counts of wire fraud and two counts of manufacturing false bank statements. The festival founder who sent hundreds of festival goers to the Bahamas with no food, water, or shelter, is in deep trouble and if found guilty could face up to 20 years in prison.

McFarland was arrested in July after organizing what appeared to be a faulty music festival. He and co-founder Ja-Rule had promised festival-goers a luxurious weekend of music in the Bahamas that was scheduled to take place from May 5-7. Tickets were priced anywhere between $1000 and $12,000, and people actually showed up to the festival only to be faced with chaos. Afterwards, McFarland had issued a statement saying that the festival was postponed due to “circumstances out of our control.”

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The FBI later opened an investigation into McFarland and found that he had allegedly issued false statements to the bank and lied about his company’s worth in order to lure in investors, among other things.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim, said the following in a statement earlier into the investigation:

“As alleged, William McFarland promised a ‘life changing’ music festival, but in actuality delivered a disaster. McFarland allegedly presented false documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival. Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, McFarland will now have to answer for his crimes.”

McFarland is also being faced with multiple civil lawsuits that have been filed against him by numerous festival-goers.