Billy McFarland, 26, pleaded guilty to two wire fraud charges in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday. The business owner admitted to lying to investors and falsifying documents in a bid to raise funds for Fyre Festival.
After pleading guilty to the charges, Billy McFarland has been ordered to shell out $26 million as part of a money judgment filed on Tuesday. In addition to the money ordered to forfeit, prosecutors suggested that he serve between 8 and 10 years in prison.
“‘I deeply regret my actions, and I apologize to my investors, team, family, and supporters who I let down,” McFarland told the court.
McFarland is being blamed for the failure of the highly extravagant Fyre Festival which was set to take place in the Bahamian island of Exuma over the course of two weekends in May and April of 2017. Celebrities including Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Emily Ratijkowski were also paid to promote the event on Instagram.
McFarland acknowledged in court that he ‘grossly underestimated' the resources needed to hold an event of this scale.