Billy McFarland, the entrepreneur responsible for the Fyre Festival fiasco, is set to be sentenced this month after pleading guilty to wire fraud. Today, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office revealed that McFarland is now facing a new set of charges related to a post-Fyre Festival ticket scam that was ongoing in recent months while he awaited sentencing. He faces new charges of money laundering and, once again, wire fraud.
McFarland is accused of running a business called NYC VIP Access. From late 2017 to at least March 2018, the company was purporting to sell tickets to events such as this year’s Grammys, the Super Bowl, Coachella, the Met Gala, Burning Man, and more. Customers then reportedly either didn’t receive the tickets they paid for or didn’t receive the tickets that were advertised.
McFarland allegedly solicited Fyre Fest attendees and others to purchase tickets from the company when, according to the new complaint against McFarland, “no such tickets existed.” The “tickets” sold to approximately 15 people totaled almost $100,000. McFarland is also accused of attempting to conceal his involvement with NYC VIP Access by posing as the company’s other employees.
“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.
McFarland was arrested in June 2017 after an FBI investigation into Fyre Media and its viral namesake festival. McFarland was accused of making false statements to overstate Fyre’s financial stability to potential investors and allegedly made false claims about festival insurance policies. McFarland also shared fraudulent documents with ticket companies claiming that a bank approved a loan to Fyre Festival.