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Fyre Festival: Founder Billy McFarland jailed for six years

File image of Billy McFarland from July 30, 2016

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Billy McFarland said he had betrayed other folks’s consider in him

The founding father of the ill-fated Fyre Festival – referred to as a “complete disaster” via fanatics – has been jailed for six years via a US pass judgement on.

Billy McFarland, 26, pleaded accountable to fraud previous this yr.

A pass judgement on on Thursday described him as “a serial fraudster” who have been cheating for “most of his life”.

Partygoers have been promised a luxurious match within the Bahamas however as an alternative have been stranded on an island with out sufficient meals, water or lodging.

The match in April 2017 was once ultimately cancelled and loads of other folks evacuated.

Tickets had price between $1,200 and $100,000 (£900 and £75,000).

“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,” mentioned US Attorney for Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman.

Addressing the courtroom on Thursday, McFarland mentioned he knew he had “betrayed the trust of my investors, my customers, my family”.

He mentioned the sentencing was once an “extremely bitter reality”.

McFarland pleaded accountable in March to 2 counts of twine fraud associated with the pageant, however then in July admitted two extra counts of fraud on the subject of every other ticket-selling rip-off that he had arrange whilst on bail.

In October, prosecutors asked that McFarland serve between 11 and 14 years in jail, describing him as “the consummate con artist”.

Sentencing on Thursday, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald mentioned McFarland was once “unique in this court’s memory”.

“The defendant is a serial fraudster and to date his fraud, like a circle, has no end,” she advised the courtroom in Manhattan. “Mr McFarland has been dishonest most of his life.”

Fyre Festival was once billed as a “cultural moment created from a blend of music, art and food” within the Bahamas.

Tickets incorporated a flight from Miami; a keep in a “geodesic dome” and actions together with yoga and kayaking.

It had to begin with been marketed with an Instagram video that includes well-known fashions crusing on a luxurious yacht and most sensible tune acts similar to Blink-182 have been at the invoice.

But festival-goers posted movies and pictures on-line of the “mass chaos” and “a compete disaster”.

The rapper Ja Rule, who was once initially described as a co-organiser of the development, was once now not arrested or charged in reference to the fraud.

His legal professionals have since argued that McFarland used the artist’s identify and connections to advertise the development.

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