Now that he’s out of prison, Billy McFarland is collecting speaking fees from would-be entrepreneurs.
Bloomberg reports that McFarland will be paid $19,000 for the engagement to share his ‘unique business insights’ with a group of would-be German entrepreneurs. The failed Fyre Festival founder defrauded investors out of $26 million to arrange a luxury destination music festival that devolved into chaos. According to his agreement with the court, 40% of the fee must go to paying back those investors.
Billy McFarland spent four years behind bars for his role in the fraud after pleading guilty to ticket scheme and wire fraud charges. He was released on May 18, 2022 and has since gotten to work on several new business ventures. One of them is PYRT (pronounces ‘pirate’), which appears to be a new dating venture.
“This little dating thing that we just built. So, we come out here in the park and ask people to describe their ideal boyfriend or girlfriend and then we generate an AI picture of them and we find five real people that match the AI,” McFarland told The Sun. He says he’s making money again as a ‘marketing guy’ and offers consulting and advice to tech entrepreneurs at a rate of $1,800 per hour.
“So a bunch of venture funds and startups are trying to figure out how to launch their products. So I’m just doing this consulting work to fund PYRT,” McFarland said in February 2023. He says following his fraud conviction, several people reached out to him.
“Just like crazy like tech CEOs and they’re like ‘we get it, like we understand you messed up. And like that’s f**cked but we’ll give you a chance.’ So like super smart people just like building wild platforms,” McFarland continues about the work he’s doing now. He went on to say he’s made his 15th restitution payment since August 30th “It’s like every two or three weeks I go and make a payment,” he continues.