July 24, 2018 / 4:07 PM / 3 months ago

U.S. securities regulator settles fraud charges with Fyre Festival founder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday said it had settled with New York entrepreneur and founder of the failed Fyre Festival William Z. McFarland and others over a $27.4 million offering fraud.

William 'Billy' McFarland, organizer of the Fyre Festival, exits the U.S. Federal Court in Manhattan following his presentment on wire fraud charges in New York City, U.S., July 1, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The SEC complaint alleges that McFarland fraudulently induced investments into his companies Fyre Media, Inc., Fyre Festival LLC, and Magnises, Inc., including in connection with McFarland’s failed venture to host a “once-in-a-lifetime” music festival in the Bahamas.

McFarland used investor funds to bankroll a lavish lifestyle including living in a Manhattan penthouse apartment, partying with celebrities, and traveling by private plane and chauffeured luxury cars, the SEC said.

Reporting by Michelle Price, Editing by Franklin Paul

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