Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Laurence Reese

Fyre Festival Promoter Arrested on New Set of Fraud Charges

Fyre Festival Promoter Arrested on New Set of Fraud Charges

Billy McFarland in July 2016 in Water Mill, N.Y. After pleading guilty in March to criminal fraud related to his 2017 Fyre Festival, McFarland was accused of yet another event scam on Tuesday. "McFarland allegedly went on to sell fraudulent tickets to many grand events, totaling nearly $100,000".

McFarland will be sentenced on June 21 in the festival fraud.

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.

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His lawyer, Randall Jackson, argued Tuesday that McFarland had proven he was no risk to flee by surrendering when he learned Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were looking for him.

Prosecutors say McFarland committed crimes even after he pleaded guilty in March to defrauding investors and vendors in the Fyre Festival.

We're told the documentary crew behind Hulu's upcoming Fyre Festival docuseries, being produced by Cinemart, has been following McFarland's hearings.

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Billy McFarland was rearrested Tuesday and charged with earning $100,000 by selling fake tickets to exclusive fashion, music and sporting events through NYC VIP Access, a company he controlled. 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.

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.

"The weight of the evidence here is quite strong", Greenberg said. He either failed to the tickets or didn't provide them as advertised, they said. Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to wire fraud as well as lying to investors. Both carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison.

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