The Guardian | Billy McFarland ‘put together a team’ to generate income, likely for the $26m he was ordered to pay investors back

The lead organizer of the infamous failed 2017 Fyre festival will immediately begin new ventures in the entertainment industry after being released early from federal prison on Wednesday, according to his attorney.

Billy McFarland, 30, “has put together a team of professionals to brainstorm and come up with ideas in entertainment and other avenues to generate income”, ostensibly to pay back the $26m he was ordered to reimburse his Fyre festival investors after pleading guilty to defrauding them, said his lawyer, Jason Russo.

“His sole priority and focus is how can he make these people whole and get their money back for them,” Russo added. “That’s what he’s been focusing on.”

A judge sentenced McFarland to six years in prison in 2018. He had been serving his time at a federal prison in Milan, Michigan, receiving what his lawyer said was the standard year of credit for every 10 months he spent behind bars.

He was released on Wednesday into a halfway home run by federal officials in New York, according to a US Bureau of Prisons spokesperson. He is scheduled to stay there until 30 August.

Federal halfway house residents are generally required to find a job, and may be allowed to drive or use a cellphone for employment purposes. They can also get a four-hour recreational pass for weekends and can ultimately be moved from the group halfway house to confinement at their private residence.

Russo said his client was “relieved to be out and be done with the incarceration part of his sentence”.

“Billy is looking forward to reuniting with and seeing his family and truly just focusing on his efforts to get this enormous amount of restitution paid,” Russo said.
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Fyre Festival Founder Released Early From Prison

By Monique Beals, The Hill | Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland was released from prison early after just two years of his six-year sentence, according to his lawyer.

“Mr. McFarland is relieved to be out of prison and ready to re-integrate into society,” attorney Jason Russo said in a statement obtained by The Hill.

“His sole priority and focus at this time is to do all he can to pay his restitution and make amends,” Russo added.
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He was sentenced in 2018 after pleading guilty to wire fraud over the 2017 failed Fyre Festival, a now-infamous music festival in the Bahamas that never occurred and left most attendees without proper accommodations or food. Photos of conditions from the event went viral, prompting spiraling outrage.

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[Thanks to Alex Teitz for contributing these articles! http://www.femmusic.com]

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