Fyre Festival founder pleads guilty to wire fraud, facing maximum sentence of 40 years

KC Orcutt

 // Mar 6, 2018

The tropical train wreck that surrounded 2017's Fyre Festival is still far from being a distant memory—at least for those involved in planning what was supposed to be a luxurious destination music festival taking place in the Bahamas.

As such, the legislative proceedings that have since followed have been just as complex as the failed festival itself. After initially pleading not guilty to charges of wire fraud, festival founder Billy McFarland has since changed his plea entry.

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As reported, McFarland pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday (March 6), admitting that he did, in fact, swindle investors while planning the festival.

As such, prosecutors and his legal team agreed that a sentence of 97 to 120 months behind bars would be an appropriate plea deal. However, Federal judges aren't required to follow the plea agreement. As a result of the charges, McFarland is facing a maximum sentence of 40 years.

The 26-year-old was accused of tricking investors by way of claiming that his company was in good financial standing. Prosecutors deemed that McFarland altered financial paperwork to make his claims seem legitimate.

Tickets for the festival, which was billed as a luxe and exclusive live music experience, went for $1,500 to $250,000. Those who attended the first of what was supposed to be two weekends quickly realized the promises made by the festival were empty, with the grounds lacking proper bathroom facilities, among other failed expectations of top-tier quality on the grounds.

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