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Fyre Festival Scammer Billy McFarland Sentenced To 6 Years In Prison

Fyre Festival Scammer Billy McFarland Sentenced To 6 Years In Prison

Bill McFarland, the 26-year-old con artist behind the catastrophic Fyre Festival, was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for several counts of fraud, including three counts of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, and one count of lying to investigators. The court also ordered McFarland to pay $26,182,386, even though he’s reportedly struggled to pay his own lawyers.

While his mother and sister wept and his father put his head in his hands, McFarland said in a New York federal court Thursday,:

“The remorse I feel is crushing. I’ve lived every day with the weight of knowing that I literally destroyed the lives of my friends and family.”

Prosecutors were not as sympathetic to McFarland’s remorse. In a filing, they said:

“For the past five years, the defendant has been the consummate con artist. The defendant’s actions reveal a profoundly greedy, self-absorbed man focused exclusively on himself. Whenever he needed more money, he lied to investors to get it. Whenever he wanted more money, he gave it to himself from business accounts. Whenever one scheme began to falter, he hatched a newer and more elaborate one.”

According to VICE News, the scammer said “I’m sorry” numerous times during his sentencing hearing and begged U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Buchwald for leniency. His lawyers attempted to use the defense that McFarland’s untreated bipolar disorder blurred the lines between right and wrong, but Judge Buckwald was unwavering.