Founder Of Disastrous Bahamas Festival Admits Swindling Investors, Arrested


Many claim he defrauded investors of potentially millions.

"I grossly underestimated the resources that would be necessary to hold an event of this magnitude". Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison according to federal guidelines, but the actual sentence will be determined by the judge. "In an attempt to raise what I thought were needed funds, I lied to investors about various aspects of Fyre Media and my personal finances".

A document from the US Department of Justice says that "McFarland repeatedly made materially false statements to investors about Fyre Media's revenue and income, and manipulated Fyre Media's financial statements and supporting documentation to hide Fyre Media's true financial condition".

The Fyre Festival imploded in April 2017, after rich patrons spent tens of thousands of dollars for the event, expecting a luxury getaway on a private island in the Bahamas, only for their private jets to touch down in what many called a disaster area.

He went on to apologize, "I deeply regret my actions, and I apologize to my investors, team, family and supporters who I let down".

Fyre Festival did not quite live up to expectations.   Lamaan Gallal
Fyre Festival did not quite live up to expectations. Lamaan Gallal

It was being spearheaded by McFarland and (weirdly) rapper Ja Rule, and was spruiked across social media by celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski.

The festival, which McFarland organized with rap star Ja Rule, was to feature bands including Blink-182 and the hip hop act Migos take place over two weekends. McFarland is now out on $300,000 cash bail while he awaits sentencing.

Instead of plush cabanas, they were set up in "disaster relief tents", and their gourmet food took the form of cheese sandwiches and wilting lettuce. The reaction by angry concert-goers on social media turned the event into an embarrassing failure.

The US claimed McFarland also altered a stock ownership statement to make it appear that stock he owned that was worth less than $1500 ($AU1930) was actually worth $2.5 million [$AU3.2 million], allowing him to personally guarantee an investment.

McFarland was arrested in June and accused of misleading investors who poured money into Fyre Media.

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