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'This Just Can't Be for Real': Fyre Festival Fraudster Billy McFarland is Now Hiring For His New Tech Company -- And He's Already Selling Merch McFarland was released from house arrest last September and is currently being ordered to pay $26 million in restitution to fraud victims.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily
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It was just five years ago that famed fraudster Billy McFarland was sentenced to prison for defrauding investors, customers and locals in the planning and attempted execution of Fyre Festival in Exuma, Bahamas.

But after serving time, McFarland is back (and in his own opinion, better than ever) and here to offer his services in his newest venture: a technology company called PYRT, which McFarland is calling the "virtual immersive decentralized reality."

He describes the technology as something "that brings together and connects people around the world both virtually and physically. Then once they're together, it allows people to actually affect real-world change."

Related: 'Failure Is OK in Entrepreneurship': Fyre Festival Fraudster Billy McFarland Throws Major Party After Prison Release

PYRT, pronounced pirate, will bring together groups of influential people (musicians, artists, content creators, entrepreneurs) and other investors in one real-world "small, remote location" and then a live, virtual replica of that location will be launched where anyone around the world can join in and participate (sort of like a metaverse/VR type location, though McFarland insists that the technology is not a metaverse.)

@pyrtbilly For all of those that either love to hate or genuinely support me... THIS is what I've been working on. THIS is what will clear the air. THIS IS PYRT @PYRT ♬ Super Gremlin - Kodak Black

Naturally, hundreds took to the comment section of McFarland's (who now goes by @PYRTBilly) TikTok announcement to express their concerns.

"Come on," one user commented alongside a crying laughing emoji. "This just can't be for real. Legend being straight out of prison and on to the next hustle."

"Billy I can't possibly see how this could go wrong brother," another joked.

Others offered support and suggested that McFarland might be in pursuit of his "redemption arc."

Related: Creator of Doomed Fyre Festival Gets 6-Year Prison Sentence

"I'm strangely rooting for you," one said encouragingly. "Do not mess this up. You have 1 chance. Go crush it."

On Monday, McFarland announced that interested candidates could apply to work for the company to become a part of the 'PYRT Crew', one such position being an app developer which could indicate where McFarland sees this virtual platform eventually living in the future.


Want to work with us? We're hiring for PYRT, apply via for a chance to snag the job before the other Billy, Billy Football does

♬ original sound - Billy McFarland

Though PYRT's website is still in its development stages, McFarland has wasted no time beginning to sell merchandise for those he hopes to join his platform, in the form of a $249.00 PYRT Crew jacket.

PYRT 'crew' members are promised "instant daily access to Billy and other PYRT crew" via the Discord app, "experimental adventures" like dinners, flights, trips, etc. and first access to the platform when it actually goes live.

The former Fyre creator was originally sentenced to six years in prison in 2018 but ended up serving four years, plus six months of house arrest.

Related: Anna Delvey to Star in Reality Show While on House Arrest

In September of last year, he celebrated his release from his halfway house by throwing a cocktail party in New York City hotspot Marylou.

He had hinted at a future in the tech space in an interview with the New York Times upon his release.

"The good thing with tech is that people are so forward-thinking, and they're more apt at taking risk," he told the outlet. "If I worked in finance, I think it would be harder to get back. Tech is more open. And the way I failed is totally wrong, but in a certain sense, failure is OK in entrepreneurship."

McFarland is currently in the process of paying back fraud victims a combined $26 million in restitution.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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