The Fyre Festival Organizer Was Arrested for Wire Fraud & Later Released on Bail

Following the disastrous weekend that was Fyre Festival back in April, the event’s co-founder Billy McFarland has been arrested for the charge of wire fraud and reportedly being dishonest with festival investors, Teen Vogue reports. Fyre Festival made headlines for turning out to be far from the luxurious event promoters promised, as musical guests failed to attend and tents, rather than the expected villas, were available for participants. The festival was eventually cancelled, leaving hundreds upset. 

Federal agents arrested McFarland on June 30, claiming that he told investors the festival’s bookings earned millions of dollars when, in reality, his company Fyre Media had earned only $57,443. McFarland also allegedly forged a document to say that he owned “$2.5 million in shares of one company’s stock,” but he actually owned $1,500.

“McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival,” Joon Kim, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced. “Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, McFarland will now have to answer for his crimes.”

In addition to his event facing over a dozen lawsuits, McFarland faces the possibility of up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Although he organized the event with Ja Rule, the rapper’s lawyer says that he has not been arrested.

According to the New York Times, McFarland was later released on a $300,000 bail and is expected to appear again in court on July 31. 

Despite sending out an apology for the cancelled event and claiming that they weren’t prepared for the festival’s largeness, McFarland and Ja Rule definitely have a lot of questions to answer in the next few weeks.