Fyre Festival’s Billy McFarland arrested again for allegedly selling fake tickets
Billy McFarland, the founder of the disastrous Fyre Festival, pled guilty to wire fraud, and his troubles are far from over. As the Associated Press reports, McFarland was arrested again on additional fraud charges while awaiting sentencing. They write:
Billy McFarland was arrested on Tuesday on charges that he conducted a sham ticket scheme, selling fraudulent tickets to fashion, music and sporting events. His lawyer did not immediately comment.
William F. Sweeney Jr., head of New York’s FBI office, says new charges show that McFarland didn’t stop committing crimes after pleading guilty in March to defrauding investors and vendors in the Fyre Festival.
He says the 26-year-old McFarland went on to sell fraudulent tickets totaling almost $100,000 to various events.
That alleged scheme is called NYC VIP Access, a company McFarland reportedly tried to conceal his ownership of. With it, he claimed to have tickets for events like Coachella, Burning Man, The Met Gala, and The Superbowl for sale.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said, “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. 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.”
As Vice reports, some of the tickets McFarland claimed to have for sale aren’t even real:
VICE News debunked several of NYC VIP Access’s offerings, including “sponsor tickets” to Burning Man, which does not have sponsors; seats at the Met Gala, which must be approved by Anna Wintour; and passes to meet Taylor Swift, who does not do meet-and-greets.
According to The Blast, before the new charges, McFarland also filed a sentencing memorandum asking for house arrest instead of jail time:
McFarland says he was only 24-years-old when he was in charge of the infamous Fyre Festival, and admits that although his intentions were good it was too much to handle. He says that his lack of skills, education, resources or maturity contributed to the failed event.
He now claims to have a deep sense of remorse for the way the festival went down.
He’s also using an ADHD diagnosis to gain sympathy with the judge, claiming the symptoms he suffers on a daily basis are very taxing.
McFarland says he has no criminal record, has cooperated with the Feds since the beginning and even plead guilty to the charges.