Organizer of infamous failed Fyre Festival charged with duping customers again

Promoter of Fyre Festival sold bogus 'dinner with Le Bron James' tickets in new scheme authorities

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.

The promoter of a failed music festival in the Bahamas has been arrested on new fraud charges as he awaits sentencing in the earlier fraud case. Sweeney said in a statement, "McFarland allegedly went on to sell fraudulent tickets to many grand events, totaling nearly $100,000". This time, McFarland is charged with selling fake tickets to mega-festivals and events. McFarland ran the company NYC VIP Access, which advertised tickets to events such as the Met Gala, Burning Man, Coachella, the 2018 Grammy Awards and Super Bowl LII, despite not actually having any tickets to the events, according to the complaint unsealed Tuesday.

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Speaking in a statement, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said: "Today's charges depict our intolerance for such fraudulent activity, and we will continue to diligently investigate acts such as this".

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. Each carries a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars. He tricked at least 15 people into buying the nonexistent tickets.

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McFarland allegedly began running the ticket scheme in late 2017 - just months after his June 2017 arrest for defrauding Fyre Media investors out of $24 million. Instead, they arrived to find half-built tents, feral dogs and inadequate food and water.

Back in March, Billy McFarland pled guilty to two counts of federal wire fraud in connection to the Fyre Festival scandal. He faces up to 10 years in prison on those counts.

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