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Promoter of failed Fyre Festival gets 6 years in prison

Last Updated Oct 11, 2018 at 2:40 pm EDT

FILE - In this March 6, 2018 file photo, Billy McFarland, the promoter of the failed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, leaves federal court after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges in New York. A federal judge has given McFarland a six-year prison term. McFarland was sentenced Thursday, Oct. 11 in Manhattan federal court. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald called him a "serial fraudster." (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A federal judge has given the creator of the highly publicized, failed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas a six-year prison term.

Billy McFarland was sentenced Thursday in Manhattan federal court. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald called him a “serial fraudster.”

He admitted defrauding investors of $26 million in the 2017 music festival and over $100,000 in a fraudulent ticket-selling scheme after his arrest in the festival scam.

Buchwald says McFarland deserved a long prison term because he disrespected the criminal justice system by lying to law enforcement agents when they learned about the ticket-selling business.

Speaking in a courtroom packed with friends and family and at least one victim, McFarland apologized as family members cried behind him.

He says he hit rock bottom and plans to become a better person.