Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Charged With One Count of Wire Fraud

Was arrested and detained Friday; has since been released on $300,000 bail.

July 3, 2017 9:39 am
Billy McFarland
Billy McFarland is writing a book. (Patrick McMullan/ Getty)

The Fyre Festival debacle just reared its ugly head again—but this time, the long arm of the law reached out and smacked it.

Co-founder of the festival Billy McFarland, who had been under federal investigation for defrauding investors, was arrested Friday, charged with one count of wire fraud, and placed in a Brooklyn detention center, per The New York Times.

Fyre Festival was billed as a luxury-leaning music and arts festival like Coachella on a private island in the Bahamas. It’s first full day was April 28. But when concertgoers showed up—many of which had spent thousands of dollars to attend—they were met with a chaotic scene, which RealClearLife reported on in real-time. Many tweeted that they felt scammed.

McFarland, who pays $21,000 a month in rent for his Manhattan penthouse and drives a $110,000 Maserati, had $5,000 in cash on him when arrested, per the Times.

Despite this fact, McFarland has retained a public defender, a type of attorney usually offered to defendants without enough money to hire an actual legal team.

McFarland has since been released on $300,000 bail.

He’ll make his first appearance in court on July 31.

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