Billy McFarland, the supposedly wealthy co-organizer of the disastrous Fyre Festival, was released on Saturday on $300,000 bail. McFarland arrived at a court hearing with a public defender following his Friday arrest for wire fraud.
Facing the music on the fraud
“In order to procure these investments, McFarland provided materially false information,” acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said.
“McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival,” he continued.
“Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, McFarland will now have to answer for his crimes. As alleged, William McFarland promised a ‘life-changing’ music festival but delivered a disaster,” Kim added.
McFarland’s bail was set at $300,000. Even though Prosecutor Kristy J. Greenberg asked for $500,000 bail. Stating it was clear McFarland ‘did not understand the gravity and severity of the charges until now.’
The promoter who offered guests shelling out major cash on a trip to the Bahamas filled with models and musicians, couldn’t afford his own defense attorney and was assigned a public defender Sabrina Shroff. Shroff said he didn’t have enough money for private lawyers.
The Fyre Festival fiasco
McFarland has been in the spotlight since the April collapse of his ultra-luxurious music event, Fyre Festival.
The poorly executed event, which was co-organized with Ja Rule, left hundreds of festival-goers stranded without proper accommodations, electricity and “barely any food.” The fiasco was also played out in real time across the media.
Frye Festival was billed as an ultra-luxurious event with major headlining acts like Blink 182, and Migos. It was set to take place in the Bahamas promising festival goers to even take a luxury swim with pigs.
In the wake of the fallout, McFarland hired a legal team to defend him against several civil lawsuits and retained a public relations firm to quell the media storm.
McFarland’s finances played a key role at Saturday’s bail-setting hearing. Shroff told officials then that McFarland had failed to adequately pay his previous lawyers.
Public defenders are utilized in cases of defendants who may not be able to hire a private attorney. He is expected to appear in court next on July 31.
Source: Belfast Telegraph