Organizer of infamous failed Fyre Festival charged with duping customers again

  • Organizer of infamous failed Fyre Festival charged with duping customers again

Organizer of infamous failed Fyre Festival charged with duping customers again

Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland, who pleaded guilty to two counts wire fraud in March, was charged Tuesday with running a fraudulent ticket-selling scam while he was out on bail and faces new charges, federal prosecutors told the New York Times on Tuesday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristy Greenberg called McFarland a financial threat to the community, saying he'd used the client list of the Fyre Festival to pitch a new ticket fraud that promised tickets to music, fashion and sporting events that he didn't possess and had no way of getting.

NYC VIP Access was purporting to sell tickets to major events such as the Grammys, the Met Gala, Coachella, and the Super Bowl.

McFarland has been charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. He's due to be sentenced this month after pleading guilty in March. Both charges carry up a maximum of a 20 year sentence. And he'd told his workers that he would flee if he is sentenced to more than three years in prison next week, she said. "McFarland allegedly went on to sell fraudulent tickets to many grand events, totaling nearly $100,000".

The head of New York's FBI Office, William F. Sweeney Jr. says that McFarland didn't stop committing fraud crimes after he plead guilty for the Fyre Festival incident. He tricked at least 15 people into buying the nonexistent tickets. He's also accused of attempting to hide his involvement with NYC VIP Access by posing as the company's other employees. Investors in the 2017 Fyre Festival lost over $26 million in what was billed as "the cultural experience of the decade". The event was advertised on social media by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and other high-profile social media influencers.

Hulu announced in April it was producing a documentary series about the Fyre Festival.