Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland is facing more legal problems, with a financial backer of his initial post-prison business PYRT Technologies demanding repayment of a $740,000 loan. Failure to agree to make that payment could result in a lawsuit against McFarland for civil fraud, conversion, civil conspiracy, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
According to Billboard, McFarland met the man who loaned him the money, Jonathan Taylor, when they were both incarcerated in the same prison. McFarland was jailed after being found guilty of fraud in relation to the original failed Fyre Festival in 2017. New York-based Taylor, meanwhile, was serving a sentence after pleading guilty to a charge of child sex trafficking stemming from his relationship with a fifteen year old in Florida.
Once released from prison, Taylor seemingly loaned money to McFarland who was already planning new business ventures for when he was released, structured around the PYRT Technologies company. Taylor was promised a 33% shareholding in the new business.
That new business began with McFarland's podcast Dumpster Fyre, but other projects were planned. Those included a documentary, a memoir, a treasure hunt based on clues featured in the memoir, a metaverse and even a celebrity boxing match between McFarland and his Fyre Festival co-founder Ja Rule.
However, none of that came to pass and instead McFarland founded a new company to run a second edition of the Fyre Festival itself, and Taylor is not involved in that business.
According to McFarland, Taylor had misrepresented the nature of the crime that resulted in him being in prison. Also, once McFarland became properly aware of what his financial backer had pleaded guilty to, he decided he couldn't be in business with Taylor. McFarland then informed Taylor of this in September last year.
On receiving that news, Taylor asked for the money he'd loaned to PYRT Technologies to be repaid. With the money already spent, there were initially some negotiations between attorneys representing the two men, but then McFarland allegedly stopped responding.
Hence the summons filed with the New York courts last week, demanding McFarland attend court and agree to repay the loan, or face the litigation.