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Fyre Festival founder told to pay back $26 million to defrauded investors

By | Published on Monday 12 March 2018

Fyre Festival

The founder of the failed Fyre Festival has been ordered to pay back $26 million to his former investors after pleading guilty to fraud charges last week.

Fyre Festival, of course, was the music event due to take place on an island in the Bahamas in April and May last year. Marketed as a super luxurious experience, the festival collapsed just as people were arriving, as it became clear management hadn’t put in place the infrastructure for even a basic event, let alone the luxury set-up that had been promised.

A plethora of lawsuits followed the event’s collapse, while Billy McFarland – who created the event with Ja Rule – was arrested over allegations of fraud. He finally pleaded guilty to those charges last week via a plea deal with prosecutors. That deal will include jail time, likely to be between eight and ten years, with sentencing due to take place in June.

In the meantime a New York court has ordered McFarland to pay back the $26 million he defrauded from various people who invested in the companies behind the Fyre Festival and an accompanying talent booking app. Though, given that he claimed to be broke when arrested last summer, and with that decade of prison time pencilled into the diary, it’s not entirely clear how he’ll settle those debts.