The Truth About Billy McFarland's Early Release From Prison

Much like the rest of society, our obsession with scammers like Anna Delvey and the Tindler Swindler shows no sign of stopping any time soon. True crime is in officially in its scam era. So, while we wait for the next Netflix docuseries or Hulu adaptation to drop, let's check in with one of this cultural moment's OG con-men, Billy McFarland, who has just been granted early release from federal prison. 

McFarland's Fyre Festival debacle was one of the few times when the phrase "epic fail" is really the only appropriate description. The disastrous — and expensive — festival was billed as a luxurious weekend in the Caribbean where attendees would eat gourmet food and party with the likes of Kendall Jenner. Instead, they got FEMA tents and damp cheese sandwiches, with neither music acts nor Jenner anywhere in the vicinity. Everyone lucky enough not to have bought a ticket to the festival watched the drama unfold first on social media, and then on two documentaries that chronicled the scam, one on Hulu and the other on Netflix. 

In 2018, McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of wire fraud related to the failed festival, according to NPR. But less than four years later, he has been released. 

Billy McFarland was released two years early for good time credit

Billy McFarland caught a break, it seems. The Fyre Fest fraudster was released from jail two years early, according to TMZ, after serving four years of his six-year sentence. McFarland was let out of federal prison back on March 30 and sent to live in a second facility, NBC News reported. McFarland's lawyer, Jason Russo, told the outlet that McFarland is now living in a halfway house in New York, which will most likely be his home until August. According to Russo, McFarland's early release was thanks to "good time credit," and that now his client plans to "put together a team of good people for a solid plan to make amends and pay." NBC News noted that the newly free man owes a cool $25 million. 

So, you know, should be easy to rustle up. Maybe he can hit up his old pal Ja Rule, who was also involved in planning Fyre Festival but was apparently cleared of wrong doing. According to The Guardian, Ja Rule sold a Fyre Festival NFT for $122,000 back in 2021. Might be a good place to start, at least.