According to Newser, Billy McFarland, the brain behind the Fyre Festival, has learned his fate. A Manhattan federal judge sentenced McFarland to 6 years in prison. The judge called McFarland a “serial fraudster” who has been “dishonest most of his life.”
The 26-year-old organized 2017’s Fyre festival, which was billed as an “unprecedented VIP event”. Set on an island in the Bahamas, it was promoted as featuring popular music acts, as well as, a “first-class culinary experiences and a luxury atmosphere.”
Many customers lined up to spend up to and in excess of $13,000 to attend. But upon arrival, attendees found a scene reminiscent of a disorganized refugee camp.
Feral dogs, tents, and cheese sandwiches served as stand-ins for first-class amenities.
Claiming he suffers from untreated mental illness, McFarland’s attorneys sought leniency. They hoped to get him restitution, community service, and house arrest or minimal jail time. But prosecutors, on the other hand, lobbied for 11 to 14 years in prison.
One former investor called McFarland a “skilled and convincing liar” who deserves “a long prison term.” McFarland also ran a fraudulent ticket-selling service that cost at least 30 victims some $150,000.