The New York man who served time in prison for fraud over the disastrous 2017 Fyre Festival will be paid $19,000 to share his “unique business insights” with a group of German would-be entrepreneurs next month.
Billy McFarland, 31, defrauded investors out of $24 million in the planned luxury Bahamas music festival that descended into chaos when purchasers of expensive festival packages arrived to find wet tents, substandard food and none of the promised musical acts.
McFarland pleaded guilty in 2018, and also admitted to a separate concert-ticket scam while out on bail. He got a six-year sentence, but was released from US custody in August. He’s now serving three years’ probation, which means he is required to get permission from a judge before traveling abroad.
US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald on Monday approved McFarland’s plan to attend the Entrepreneur University Founder Summit, set for April 15 and April 16, in Wiesbaden, Germany. The judge said McFarland must pay 40% of the promised $19,000 fee toward the $26.4 million he owes his fraud victims. After expenses McFarland plans to clear about $2,300.
“We believe that Billy’s unique business insights and experiences as an entrepreneur and founder would greatly benefit our audience and add valuable insights to the conversation,” Robin Söder, chief executive officer of Neu-Isenburg, Germany-based Entrepreneur University, said in a letter presented to the judge.
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