William Z. McFarland is an American convicted fraudster, co-founder of the ill-fated Fyre Festival, and erstwhile entrepreneur. He swindled investors of $27.4 million by marketing and selling tickets to the festival and other events. Using $1.5 million of investor funding, Billy founded Magnises, a club targeted at millennials, in 2013. Later he founded and appeared as CEO of Fyre Media, which developed the Fyre mobile app for booking music talent.
Late in 2016, alongside rapper Ja Rule he co-founded the Fyre Festival, a luxury music festival intended to promote the Fyre app. The event was planned to take place in April and May 2017 but was canceled after attendees struggled with the problems of security, food, logistics, understaffing, accommodations, and talent relations.
As a result, Billy and Ja Rule were sued for $100 million in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Fyre Festival attendees in May 2017. Followingly, Billy was arrested and charged with wire fraud in Manhattan federal court for his role in the organization of the festival and was eventually sentenced to six years in federal prison after pleading guilty.
McFarland is currently imprisoned at FCI Elkton, in Lisbon, Ohio. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Billy in April 2020 requested a compassionate release from prison to avoid catching the virus, but his request was refused the same month. In July 2020, Billy was tested COVID-19 positive at the facility.
Billy McFarland is expected to have a net worth of $5 Million
According to sources, Billy McFarland has a net worth of $5 million for the year 2021.
Billy McFarland’s Fyre Festival Scandal
In a new jailhouse interview, imprisoned party organizer Billy McFarland admitted that he lied to the investors who put millions into funding his infamous 2017 luxury retreat failure.
“I think the biggest mistake before I went awry was just setting an unrealistic time frame for the festival,” McFarland, told Jordan Harbinger in an unsanctioned interview.
“Had we given ourselves a year or two and had I obviously not made the terrible decision to lie to my backers, I think we could have been in a bit better place, but regardless of the mistakes that I made or what made things go wrong,” he continued. “So that’s where things started and ended.”
McFarland isn’t shy about revealing that he lied, later restating that, “I knowingly lied to them to raise money for the festival. Yes. And that’s what the crime was. The crime was inexcusably lying about the status of the company to get the money I thought I needed for the festival.”
“I legitimately thought the festival was going to be executed,” he said, before starting a story about trying to rent a cruise ship to house the guests who’d been guaranteed luxury housing but instead ended up sleeping in FEMA tents.
Billy said, “[There’s] no excuse and I wish I could have just woken up one of those mornings in the beginning and I just had stopped,” admitting that, at the time, he didn’t have the patience to get help to stop and his impatience had cost him his morals.
Billy’s Early Life
Billy McFarland,29, was born on the 11th of December in the year 1991 in New York City, New York, U.S. Brought up in the Short Hills section of Millburn, New Jersey, Billy told the New York Times that at the age of 13, he founded an online outsourcing startup that matched clients with web designers. Billy graduated in 2010 from Pingry School. He then went to Bucknell University to study computer engineering but dropped out in May of his freshman year.
After dropping out of college, Billy founded the short-lived online advertisement platform Spling where he worked as CEO. He seeded payments company Magnises with $1.5 million of investor funding, in August 2013.
Billy also launched Fyre Media Inc., the parent company of the Fyre Festival.
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