Awaiting sentencing, Fyre Festival promoter arrested again

Awaiting sentencing, Fyre Festival promoter arrested again

Awaiting sentencing, Fyre Festival promoter arrested again

Billy McFarland, the low-rent scam artist responsible for the festival disaster heard 'round the internet, is back in trouble for conning people again.

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. He's also had to come up with $26 million to repay those festival investors he defrauded.

He has been charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. The event was advertised on social media by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and other high-profile social media influencers.

His lawyer, Randall Jackson, argued Tuesday that McFarland had proven he was no risk to flee by surrendering when he learned Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were looking for him.

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Prosecutors say McFarland "provided prospective customers with contracts that falsely represented that NYC VIP Access had tickets to exclusive events in fashion, music, and sports".

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.

"We vigorously contest what is in this complaint", his lawyer Randall Jackson told the judge.

Greenberg said McFarland was living lavishly with monthlong stays in luxury hotels and excursions to expensive restaurants.

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McFarland pleaded guilty in connection to the Fyre Festival fiasco on March 6 to one count of wire fraud after defrauding over 80 investors out of $24 million, and another count of wire fraud for lying to the company selling tickets, which took over $2 million in losses, according to the Southern District of NY.

"The weight of the evidence here is quite strong", Greenberg said. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

"Mr. McFarland is a serial fraudster plain and simple", prosecutor Kristy Greenberg told the judge.

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