Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland was already facing up to 40 years in a federal prison after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud in connection to his sham music festival. Today, he pleaded guilty to further fraud charges, which carry a maximum sentence of up to 75 years behind bars.
While on pre-trial release awaiting sentencing on his Fyre Fest-related charges, McFarland launched a new scheme to sell fake tickets to major events, including Coachella, Super Bowl LII, and the Met Gala. According to prosecutors, McFarland scammed 30 people out of $150,000 and also attempted to pay one of his employees with a fraudulent check of $25,000.
Under the terms of today’s plea, McFarland admitted guilt to one count of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, and one count of making false statements. He was also ordered to forfeit over $26 million in order to pay back those individuals who were defrauded. That”s to go along with the $5 million civil suit he’s on the hook for.
Altogether, McFarland faces a maximum of 115 years in prison, but he’s expected to serve closer to 11 years to 14 years under a plea deal. His sentencing is scheduled for September 17th.