Fyre Festival’s Billy McFarland faces new fraud and money laundering charges

Brenda Watkins
June 13, 2018

Speaking in a statement, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said: "Today's charges depict our intolerance for such fraudulent activity, and we will continue to diligently investigate acts such as this".

Billy McFarland, the disgraced businessman behind last year's disastrous Fyre Festival, faces new charges related to a fraudulent ticket scam federal prosecutors say he ran while free on bail.

"I deeply regret my actions, and I apologize to my investors, team, family and supporters who I let down", the Associated Press quoted McFarland as telling the judge in that case the day he pled guilty.

The organizer of the infamous Fyre Festival, a failed concert in the Bahamas in 2017 that went viral for its lack of success, has been charged with duping customers again.

Billy McFarland - the entrepreneur behind the controversial Fyre Festival - faces new charges of wire fraud and money laundering. He has been accused of selling fraudulent tickets to exclusive fashion, music and sporting events under the auspices of a business called NYC VIP Access.

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McFarland was trying to sell the tickets in March, the same month he pleaded guilty to defrauding investors for the Fyre Festival, prosecutors allege.

According to the filing, McFarland tried to cover up his involvement in NYC VIP Access by using a then-employee's email account instead of his own, according to the filing.

She said prosecutors were considering additional charges including bank fraud and an identity theft charge that would carry a mandatory two-year prison sentence upon conviction. 15 people allegedly bought tickets from the company, totaling $100,000. The festival was anything but the ultra-luxurious event promoted as "the cultural experience of the decade" and touted on social media by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and other models and celebrities.

McFarland will be sentenced on June 21 in the festival fraud.

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

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