Fyre Fest co-founder Billy McFarland hopes to pay back the $26 million he owes victims by going back into tech entrepreneurship, the convicted felon told The New York Times.
McFarland recently sat down for a fluff piece and photoshoot with the paper after being released from a halfway house in Brooklyn, where he spent six months after being released early from a six-year prison sentence for multiple counts of wire fraud and bank fraud.
Though he partially blames the “ends justify the means” ethos of the tech world for his mistakes, McFarland also thinks it’s the best path for him to pay off the restitution because it’s also the most forgiving.
“I’d like to do something tech-based,” he told The Times. “The good thing with tech is that people are so forward-thinking, and they’re more apt at taking risk. If I worked in finance, I think it would be harder to get back. Tech is more open. And the way I failed is totally wrong, but in a certain sense, failure is OK in entrepreneurship.”
However, McFarland didn’t go beyond making more vague statements. “At the end of the day, I think I could probably create the most value by building some sort of tech product,” he said. “Whether that’s within a company or by starting my own company, I’m open to both. I’ll probably decide in the next couple of weeks which path to go do.”
Considering McFarland’s previous experience as a founder beyond Fyre Fest includes a failed social network called Spling and the sham “black card” company Magnises, there isn’t much reason for investors to buy into anything he’s selling. Still, it’s said there’s a sucker born every minute and it’ll take just a few with deep pockets to carry out whatever scheme McFarland comes up with next.
Read the full New York Times interview here.