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Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Arrested for New Ticket-Selling Scam

13 June 2018

The organizer of the infamous Fyre Festival, a failed concert in the Bahamas in 2017 that went viral for its lack of success, has been charged with duping customers again.

Prosecutors said McFarland, 26, began running the scheme late a year ago, several months after his arrest for defrauding Fyre investors out of $26 million.

"I deeply regret my actions, and I apologize to my investors, team, family and supporters who I let down", the Associated Press quoted McFarland as telling the judge in that case the day he pled guilty.

McFarland sold almost $100,000 worth of fraudulent tickets to approximately 15 customers through a company he controlled called NYC VIP Access, according to federal prosecutors.

Each of the four counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, although, on the initial charges at least, he was realistically looking at a much lighter sentence.

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"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", FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney Jr. said in a statement.

Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland was charged with a whole slew of new crimes he allegedly carried out while awaiting sentencing for his Fyre Festival-related charges.

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. He tricked at least 15 people into buying the nonexistent tickets.

While on pretrial release over the Fyre Media scheme, McFarland targeted attendees of the disastrous Fyre Festival to purchase tickets to exclusive events that didn't actually exist, including tickets to the 2018 Met Gala, according to the complaint. Instead, they arrived to find half-built tents, feral dogs and inadequate food and water.

Fyre Festival Founder Billy McFarland Arrested for New Ticket-Selling Scam