Fyre Festival's Billy McFarland in Talks With Feds for Plea Deal
Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland is in talks with federal prosecutors for a reported plea deal in his wire fraud case, Billboard has learned.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristy Greenberg filed a motion for continuance in the case Monday, asking Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein for more time to negotiate a plea bargain with McFarland's attorney Randall Jackson.
"Defense counsel and I have had discussions regarding a possible disposition of this case, and we plan to continue our discussions" Greenberg wrote.
Gorenstein granted Greenberg a 30-day extension in the case, while McFarland remains free on $300,000 bail. He was arrested June 30 and charged with allegedly defrauding investors.
The arrest came about two months after McFarland and his team -- including his business partner Ja Rule -- ordered a last-minute cancellation of their inaugural Fyre Fest, which had been promoted by supermodels on social media and slated to take place over two weekends in the Bahamas.
McFarland “promised a life-changing music festival but delivered a disaster,” Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said in a statement. “McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to induce investors to put in over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival.”
McFarland, 25, faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly convincing at least two people to invest $1.2 million by providing false information. McFarland also allegedly provided at least one investor with an “altered” stock ownership statement “to make it appear that McFarland could personally guarantee the investment.” The altered statement implied he owned shares worth more than $2.5 million, but in fact he owned less than $1,500 of the stock, the department alleges.