Fyre Festival Organizer Charged With Selling Fake Tickets While Out On Bail

Billy-McFarland-july-2016-a-billboard-1548-1528844421

Billy-McFarland-july-2016-a-billboard-1548-1528844421

Billy McFarland - the entrepreneur behind the controversial Fyre Festival - faces new charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

Prosecutors said over 15 victims had been bilked since late previous year of more than $100,000 as McFarland and his workers sold non-existent tickets to the 2018 Met Gala, Burning Man 2018, Coachella 2018, the 2018 Grammy Awards, Super Bowl LII and a Cleveland Cavaliers game that would include a team dinner with Lebron James.

He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of wire fraud stemming from the April 2017 Fyre Festival debacle, in which attendees paid upwards of $250,000 for tickets to attend what McFarland's company billed as an ultra-luxurious music festival that turned out to be an ultra-chaotic mess.

Billy McFarland, center, accompanied by his attorney Randall Jackson, left, leaves federal court after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges, Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in NY. On Tuesday, he was charged with starting another fraudulent company late previous year and running it right up until he entered his guilty plea for Fyre Festival three months ago. He's due to be sentenced this month after pleading guilty in March.

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. 15 people allegedly bought tickets from the company, totaling $100,000.

"Today's charges depict our intolerance for such fraudulent activity, and we will continue to diligently investigate acts such as this", FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement. Tickets for the event cost thousands of dollars, but when attendees arrived they found poorly built tents, a lack of food and clean water and an insufficient number of public toilets. He's also had to come up with $26 million to repay those festival investors he defrauded.

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