Fyre Festival mastermind Billy McFarland has found himself in even more trouble. This time, it’s for launching his "Dumpster Fyre" podcast from prison to "set the record straight" on the scam that landed him six years in jail for fraud.
His lawyer says that he’s now being punished for creating the podcast.
Attorney Jason Russo told The New York Times that his client has "been in 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement since last week, after a trailer for the podcast was released online, and may remain there for up to 90 days or more, pending an unspecified investigation by the federal Bureau of Prisons." He added that McFarland’s cellmate, who participated in the show too, is also in solitary confinement.
The Bureau of Prisons did not comment on the matter, so it’s difficult to discern which exact rules — if any — he broke.
However, making a podcast from prison is not forbidden, and neither is repurposing phone calls from prison phones with caller consent.
"We believe the investigation stems from his participation in the podcast and the photographs that were taken and utilized in the trailer, which were all properly taken," Russo said. "We don’t believe he’s violated any rule or regulation, and there can’t possibly be anything else. He’s been a model prisoner there."
While he’s in jail, a team has been managing an Instagram account for McFarland.
In an interview with Jordan Harbinger, the podcaster asked McFarland why he didn’t cancel the festival when it fell apart. "So I think the first thing that needs to be said is I was guilty and there’s absolutely no way around that. I lied to people. I lied to investors, to sponsors, and the lies were around this idea that I had where I needed to raise more money, I thought I needed to raise more money to execute the festival," he said.
In April, he posted a statement to launch Project-315, which aimed to make phone calls free for prisoners to contact their families during the pandemic.
"Many of you only know me from the Fyre Festival. If I were you, I'd think this is a scam, and that I am full of shit. I'd also question anything I read that tried to convince me otherwise," he admitted. "I'd like you to know that I know how badly I messed up. I lied, deceived, and ultimately hurt many people in pursuit of what I thought would be successful business ventures."
"What I did was absolutely despicable, and the responsibility for the damages caused starts and ends with me. There's absolutely no excuse for my actions. There's not a day that goes by that my reflection of these choices doesn't make me sick," he said.
In an update later that month, he confirmed that the Bureau of Prisons agreed to make phone calls free for prisoners during the pandemic.