What if you became a millionaire before the age of 25? Well, it would be a dream for all of us, but it takes a lot of hard work to fulfill this dream.
Today, we’re going to introduce to you someone who made some serious mistakes in his life. His name is Billy McFarland, and he is known as the Fyre Festival guy.
Billy was born in 1991 in New York City, U. S. A. and is currently incarcerated. In 2017 he was accused of earning money by selling fake tickets. Let’s find out how he became a fraudster.
McFarland was raised in the Short Hills section of Millburn, New Jersey. His father and mother are real estate developers. It seems Billy has been quite ambitious since his childhood. He started earning money at the age of 13 by founding an online outsourcing startup.
That startup was about introducing clients to web designers. In 2010 he passed his graduation from Pingry School and then he went to Bucknell University to study computer engineering, but he dropped out in his first year of study.
At the beginning of Billy’s career, he tried to do different things. After he dropped out, he founded an advertising platform online.
Then he created Magnises, where he was able to manage $1.5 Million in investor funding. But his biggest scram was called the Fyre Festival which is now known as the Fyre fraud.
Launching Fyre Media was the biggest mistake of Billy McFarland’s life. Under Fyre Media, Billy was supposed to arrange one of the most luxurious music festivals in the Bahamas; they named that event the Fyre Festival.
But in the end that festival ended up being a complete disappointment. On January 13, 2017, a video was uploaded on YouTube about Fyre Festival. The video was made for promotional purposes.
Moreover, that video was included with the world’s most highly paid models such as Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski. And these models were supposed to attend that event. But McFarland failed to provide all the facilities, food, and housing he promised to his guests.
As a result, U.S. federal investigators started looking into this issue. Billy took out a $7 million loan at a very high 120 percent annualized rate to provide festival funds.
Billy McFarland and Ja Rule were the organizers of the Fyre Festival. Therefore, they had to take responsibility for the failure of the Fyre Music Festival and a lawsuit was filed against both of them. They were sued for $100 million, and ten lawsuits were filed in relation to the scheme.
On June 30, 2017, McFarland was arrested for mail and wire fraud. However, he made bail on July 1. But the following year, in March 2018, McFarland was found guilty in federal court because he used fake documents to scam participants and took $26 million from investors.
Billy’s nightmare was not finished yet. He had to repay his previous fraud. In June 2018, he was charged for selling fake tickets for several events such as the Met Gala, Burning Man, and Coachella. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison. His federal prison stay began on October 11, 2018.
In April 2020, the mastermind of the Fyre Festival, Billy, requested compassionate release, but it was denied. At present, he is in the Milan Federal Correctional Institution located in Milan, Michigan. McFarland also had to pay $26 million in restitution.
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