Culture&Arts

Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Arrested Again for Fraud

Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Arrested Again for Fraud

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.

Attendees at Fyre Festival in the Bahamas were promised a luxurious, private party, but instead found themselves eating bread and cheese sandwiches under a tent.

In a complaint and affidavit released late Tuesday by U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of NY, the government accuses McFarland of starting a company called NYC VIP Access, which purported to sell tickets to high-end events including the Met Gala and the Grammy Awards. And he'd told his workers that he would flee if he is sentenced to over three years in prison next week, she said.

Billy McFarland, the promoter of the failed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, leaves federal court after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges, Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in NY.




He says the 26-year-old McFarland went on to sell fraudulent tickets totaling nearly $100,000 to various events. Authorities say McFarland was conducting the scheme even after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud and misleading Fyre Media's investors.

Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to wire fraud as well as lying to investors. 15 people allegedly bought tickets from the company, totaling $100,000.

McFarland sent proceeds from the fraudulent sales to other people's accounts in an attempt to hide his connection to the funds, prosecutors said. As his Fyre Festival co-hort Ja Rule would sing, McFarland best prepare for some good "Thug Lovin'".

With his own name tarnished after Fyre Festival's implosion in April 2017, McFarland is alleged to have hired as a person referred to as "Employee-1" as the public face of NYC VIP Access, and operated the business by using email and bank accounts established by that person.


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