The Guy Behind Fyre Festival Has Allegedly Been Running Another Scam While Out On Bail
He says he's being framed.
The guy behind the infamous clusterfuck that was 2017’s Fyre Festival has been arrested on fresh fraud charges, with prosecutors alleging he was running a whole new scam on the exact same people while out on bail.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristy Greenberg, 26-year-old Billy McFarland targeted people on the Fyre Festival client list, selling non-existent tickets to high profile events including Coachella, Burning Man, the Met Gala, the Grammys and the Superbowl. He allegedly scammed victims out of more than US$100,000 between late 2017 and early 2018.
If nothing else, the dude is persistent. Allegedly. Allegedly persistent.
McFarland pled guilty to wire fraud charges relating to Fyre Festival back in March, and is due to be sentenced next week. He has now been charged with another count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering in relation to the alleged ticketing scam.
He reportedly intends to fight the new charges, with his lawyer telling the judge in the case that McFarland was being framed by a former colleague who is cooperating with prosecutors.
In case you forgot, Fyre Festival was billed as a super luxurious music festival in the Bahamas that was promoted by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski. But when punters turned up, they instead encountered mountains of garbage, packs of feral dogs, and not a single Instagram model in sight.
Greenberg told the judge on Tuesday that McFarland has been living lavishly while out on bail, staying for months in luxury hotels and dining out in expensive restaurants. She also said McFarland told his employees he intended to flee if he was sentenced to more than three years in prison. His latest charges would carry a mandatory two-year sentence upon conviction.
“The weight of the evidence here is quite strong,” Greenberg said. “He targeted the same victims who tried to attend his Fyre Festival.”
“Mr. McFarland is a serial fraudster, plain and simple.”