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

Fyre Festival founder Billy Mc Farland hit with two new criminal charges

Fyre Festival founder Billy Mc Farland hit with two new criminal charges

Brendan McDermid / Reuters Billy McFarland (left) sold almost $100,000 worth of fraudulent tickets in the several months since he's been free on bail, according to federal prosecutors.

The promoter of a failed music festival in the Bahamas who is awaiting sentencing on fraud charges was arrested on new fraud charges Tuesday, leading a judge to order his detention. Sweeney said in a statement, "McFarland allegedly went on to sell fraudulent tickets to many grand events, totaling nearly $100,000".

"In March of 2018, William McFarland pled guilty to defrauding investors and vendors of the Fyre Festival, but it is apparent that he did not stop there".

"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.


Billy McFarland was ordered detained Tuesday after his arrest on charges he operated a sham ticket scheme, selling fraudulent tickets to music and sporting events. He's also had to come up with $26 million to repay those festival investors he defrauded. His lawyer did not immediately comment. The company purported to sell "bogus" tickets to high-profile events like the 2018 Met Gala, Coachella 2018, the 2018 Grammy Awards, and Burning Man 2018.

McFarland allegedly solicited Fyre Fest attendees to purchase "tickets" from the company. In the affidavit, Special Agent Racz writes that McFarland corresponded with potential customer-victims through Employee-1's email account - which, among other evidence, investigators say they determined was being logged into from an IP address associated with McFarland's parents' house in New Jersey.

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.

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