McFarland, his two companies Fyre Media and Magnises, Chief Marketing Officer Grant H. Margolin and independent contractor Daniel Simon, were charged with misleading over 100 investors to give them $24.7 million for their scamming, failed businesses.
“McFarland gained the trust of investors by falsely portraying himself as a skilled entrepreneur running a series of successful media companies. But this false picture of business success was built on fake brokerage statements and stolen investor funds,” said Melissa Hodgman, associate director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division in a release via Billboard.
He was able to gain their trust and money by “fraudulently inflating key operational, financial metrics and successes of his companies, as well as his own personal success.”
They built a house of cards with these companies and lived lavish New York lifestyles. McFarland admitted to the charges and will somehow pay the money back. He also agreed to a permanent officer-and-director bar, meaning he can’t be the officer or director of a public company. Margolin must pay $35,000 and agreed to a seven year officer-and-director bar, while Simon must pay $15,000 and has a three year officer-and-director bar.