Raised in the Short Hills section of Millburn, New Jersey, William Z. “Billy” McFarland, born December 11, 1991, is a convicted fraudster and former entrepreneur who came into the spotlight for being the brains behind the doomed 2017 Fyre Festival. And as fate would have it, it soon came to light that Billy was a career scammer who had been showing signs of deception since the early 2010s. So now, if you’re wondering the exact details of the luxury music festival, Billy’s net worth, and what all he lost in the aftermath of it all, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Billy McFarland Make His Money?
Billy McFarland launched his very first startup at the age of 13, which was an operational outsourcing service that matched websites and designers as per their requirements. But once he dropped out of Bucknell University during his freshman year, where he would have studied computer engineering, Billy established Magnises (a club). The aim here was to create an exclusive “black card” for millennials with special membership perks, which initially cost them $250 a year. Although this company seemed legit with its plan and actions, many users asked for refunds when they never received what they were promised.
Following that, Billy became the co-founder and CEO of Fyre Media Inc., which was responsible for the Fyre Festival. In the weeks leading up to the lavish music extravaganza held in the Bahamas, though, everything changed from the inside out. The tickets to attend this festival, marketed as one that would be “on the boundaries of the impossible,” were priced between $4,000 and $12,000, but little did the public know that it would actually be impossible to pull off. On the one hand, while Billy told investors that their company was worth $90 million, he told his employees that there would be no payroll.
Furthermore, just weeks before the festival, Fyre Media Inc. defaulted on a massive loan and lied to over 80 investors, who, altogether, lost over $26 million. And as if all this wasn’t enough, Billy also lied about his own finances to paint a brighter picture, claiming that he had stock worth $2.5 million in Facebook when it was only around $1,500. Thus, when the Fyre Festival was canceled, Billy and his partner, Ja Rule, faced a class-action lawsuit worth $100 million, along with a few federal and individual suits. Following the fiasco, Billy promised refunds to every guest, but just like with Magnises, that never happened.
What is Billy McFarland’s Net Worth?
Federal agents arrested Billy McFarland for wire fraud in mid-2017. But once he made bail, he led yet another scam to sell fake tickets worth $100,000 for events like the Met Gala, Burning Man, and Coachella. However, in the end, Billy pleaded guilty to the charges against him and agreed to forfeit over $26 million to the investors he had defrauded.
Thus, despite the payday from his recent ‘Dumpster Fyre’ podcast and his appearance in Hulu’s ‘Fyre Fraud,’ Billy McFarland’s current net worth is estimated to be -$5 million. Netflix had also reportedly approached Billy to feature in their version of the controversy, ‘Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened,’ but they fell back when he asked to be paid.
Read More: What is Ja Rule’s Net Worth?