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Fyre Festival organizer sentenced to 6 years on fraud charges

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Fyre Festival organizer sentenced to 6 years on fraud charges

William McFarland, Billy McFarland
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Mark Lennihan AP file
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The organizer of a failed Caribbean music festival was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison after being convicted of fraud.

Billy McFarland, 26 was taken into custody following the sentencing for his role in the Fyre Festival, a music concert that was supposed to place in the Bahamas in April 2017. People paid thousands of dollars for tickets and accommodations to what was supposed to be a luxury musical festival in the Caribbean, but upon arrival were met with FEMA tents and cheese sandwiches and no concert.

Celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid endorsed the event on their social media pages. Fyre Festival cost investors, which includes rapper Ja Rule, $26 million.

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McFarland pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud charges relating to the festival and later pleaded guilty to various fraud charges stemming a separate ticket selling scam. McFarland was able to make $150,000 in phony ticket sales to fashion, music, and sporting events according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.

"These customers later learned that the tickets didn't exist, and that this was just another fraud in McFarland's disturbing pattern of deception," Berman said ina statement in July. "McFarland's fraudulent schemes cost real people real money, and now he faces real time in federal prison for his crimes."