Fyre Festival scammer Billy McFarland released from prison early

·2-min read
Fyre Festival promoter Billy McFarland has been released early   (AP)
Fyre Festival promoter Billy McFarland has been released early (AP)

Billy McFarland, the man behind the infamous Fyre Festival, has been given an early prison release.

The 30-year-old fraudster has served just four years of a six-year sentence for his involvement in the ill-fated 2017 event.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, McFarland is currently registered as being in community confinement, also known as a halfway house, in New York. Its website also states the New Jersey native’s release date as August 30, 2022.

McFarland’s lawyer, Jason Russo, appears to have also confirmed the news to NBC News. In a statement published by the publication, Russo said that McFarland wanted to “put together a team of good people for a solid plan to make amends and pay.”

McFarland’s lawyer has been approached by the Evening Standard for further comment.

In 2018, McFarland pleaded guilty to wire fraud after he coaxed investors into backing the hugely controversial Fyre Festival.

Huts: The accommodation at Fyre Festival (Netflix)
Huts: The accommodation at Fyre Festival (Netflix)

Due to take place in the Caribbean in 2017 and being marketed as an unmissable, influencer-filled haven, the event left thousands of revellers stranded on an island without food or water.

Festival attendees, some of whom had shelled out thousands for the tickets, recalled the event feeling like the ‘hunger games’. They were met with scenes of disaster relief tents and cheese sandwiches.

The shambolic event was later mocked in a Netflix documentary that branded it ‘the greatest party that never happened’. Interviews within the show evoke a feeling of disbelief as festival planning descended into such chaos under the guidance of McFarland.

In 2018, McFarland pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to six years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to forfeit $26 million.

McFarland has reportedly been moved to a halfway house (Getty Images)
McFarland has reportedly been moved to a halfway house (Getty Images)

At the time of his sentencing, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said: “Billy McFarland has shown a disturbing pattern of deception, which resulted in investors and customers losing over $26 million in two separate fraud schemes.

“Today, McFarland found out the hard way that empty promises don’t lead to jet-setting, champagne, and extravagant parties – they lead to federal prison.”

While serving his sentence in 2019, McFarland reportedly told a reporter that he may plan another Fyre Festival as well as write a memoir.

NBC reported that McFarland’s early release was a result of him having earned good time credit.

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