The organiser of Fyre Festival has been hit with new fraud charges

Written by Tyler Jenke on 13th June, 2018
The organiser of Fyre Festival has been hit with new fraud charges

Back in April, we passed the one-year anniversary of the absolute disaster that was Fyre Festival. While the organiser of the ill-fated is still facing federal charges of wire fraud, he has now been hit with new charges of fraud which accuse him of running a business that sold non-existent tickets to a number of events.

As we noted last year, Billy MacFarland, who founded Fyre festival and was in charge of proceedings alongside Ja Rule, was arrested, charged with one count of wire fraud, and pleaded guilty in March of this year.

A statement made by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York at the time stated that “McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival. Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, McFarland will now have to answer for his crimes.”

However, as Pitchfork notes, new documents from the US Attorney’s Office have revealed that McFarland is now facing new charges of money laundering, as well as further charges of wire fraud.

“William McFarland, already awaiting sentencing for a prior fraud scheme, allegedly continued to conduct criminal business as usual, selling nonexistent tickets to fashion, music, and sporting events,” explained Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.

“As alleged, McFarland’s purported exclusive event ticket company, NYC VIP Access, in fact had no access to events for which he sold bogus tickets. Now McFarland faces criminal charges on top of those to which he already pled guilty.”

According to the documents, NYC VIP reportedly sold tickets to events including “the 2018 Met Gala, Burning Man 2018, Coachella 2018, the 2018 Grammy Awards, Super Bowl LII, and a Cleveland Cavaliers game and team dinner with Lebron James,” but customers apparently either didn’t receive any tickets, or they did not receive the tickets as advertised.

“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,” continued FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr.

“McFarland allegedly went on to sell fraudulent tickets to many grand events, totalling almost $100,000.  Today’s charges depict our intolerance for such fraudulent activity, and we will continue to diligently investigate acts such as this.”

While Billy MacFarland’s sentencing for the previous charges was due to take place this month, he now reportedly faces up to another 40 years in prison if convicted of these new charges.

Check out a recap of the failed Fyre Festival:



The article was originally published on The Industry Observer

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