March 18, 2019 / 12:56 PM

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Fyre Festival Founder Arrested On New Fraud Charges While Awaiting Sentencing



Fyre Festival 2017 founder Billy McFarland is facing two new criminal charges for his involvement in an alleged ticketing company.

The disgraced entrepreneur is charged with wire fraud and money laundering by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District Court of New York.

Fyre Festival Founder Faces New Charges

Associated Press reported that in the court filing made public on Tuesday, June 12, MacFarland was accused of setting up a "sham ticket-selling business for exclusive events" through NYC VIP Access.

The company was apparently selling tickets to Grammy's, the Super Bowl, the Met Gala, Coachella, Burning Man, and more. He solicited attendees of Fyre Festival and others to purchase and pay for the tickets. However, customers either did not receive their tickets as advertised or did not receive any tickets at all.

Prosecutors said the entrepreneur's non-existent ticket company was able to dupe over 15 victims who paid a cumulative amount of more than $100,00 to gain entry to major events.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristy Greenberg said McFarland is a financial threat to the community. She also added that the entrepreneur has been living lavishly in luxury hotels and eating at expensive restaurants.

Greenberg also revealed that McFarland told an employee that he would flee if he was sentenced to over three years in prison.

"Mr. McFarland is a serial fraudster, plain and simple," she stated. "Mr. McFarland is looking at a significant term of imprisonment."

If convicted, the Fyre Festival founder could be facing an additional two years in prison and a $1 million bail.

Fyre Festival Disaster

It can be recalled that last year, several celebrities including Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid promoted a high-scale music festival in the Bahamas. Promotional videos presented models chilling on the beach and partying on yachts in a tropical paradise. It also promised performances from the hottest acts in the musical industry, with Blink-182 as the headliner.

However, the luxury festival turned out to be a nightmare. Attendees who purchased tickets $1,000 upward were met with delayed flights, tents instead of villas to sleep in, and cold cheese sandwiches. Going back home became an even bigger problem with guests stranded in the airport without food and water.

Fyre Festival Aftermath

MacFarland, the founder of Fyre Festival, was arrested in June 2017 after an FBI investigation had uncovered that the entrepreneur made false statements to overstate his company's financial stability to investors. He allegedly made false claims involving the festival's insurance policies and shared fraudulent documents claiming that a bank has approved his loans.

After initially pleading not guilty, he pleaded guilty in March and is now waiting for his sentencing hearing later this month. He could be facing up to 10 years in prison.


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