An attorney representing embattled Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland has quit after McFarland failed to pay the lawyer’s retainer fee.
Instead, McFarland has opted to represent himself in the case against Oleg Itkin, an investor who claims McFarland owes him $1 million in unpaid loans. Itkin’s lawsuit is just one of 10 filed against the Fyre Festival founder, who is also facing criminal charges and a petition to force his company into involuntary bankruptcy.
Attorney Michael Levin filed a motion to withdraw from the case (read it here) on Friday, telling the judge that McFarland never paid him his retainer fee. When confronted over the non-payment, Levin said McFarland “advised me that there is no reasonable prospect of funding the (legal defense) in the future.”
“At the present time, Defendent McFarland does not have substitute counsel,” Levin wrote, adding the 25-year-old “intends to represent himself during the remainder of the pretrial stage of this case, with hopes of securing counsel for the trial.”
It’s unclear if Levin was representing McFarland for any of the cases, many of which McFarland has failed to defend or appear in court. Levin is the second lawyer to work on the Itkin lawsuit for McFarland — in June, attorney George A. Tsougarakis of Hughes, Hubbard & Reed asked the judge in the case to dismiss the suit and force dispute into arbitration.