Fyre Festival’s Billy McFarland faces new fraud and money laundering charges

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Billy McFarland in July 2016 in Water Mill, N.Y. After pleading guilty in March to criminal fraud related to his 2017 Fyre Festival, McFarland was accused of yet another event scam on Tuesday.

In a complaint and affidavit released late Tuesday by U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of NY, the government accuses McFarland of starting a company called NYC VIP Access, which purported to sell tickets to high-end events including the Met Gala and the Grammy Awards.

"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.

Each of the three wire fraud charges, as well as the money laundering charge, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He is allegedly behind a business called NYC VIP Access which sold tickets to huge events like the Grammys, the Super Bowl, Coachella, the Met Gala, Burning Man, and more.

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McFarland allegedly targeted Fyre Festival customers and then laundered the fraud proceeds to "others' financial accounts in an effort to hide his ownership and control of the funds".

The promoter of a failed music festival in the Bahamas who is awaiting sentencing on fraud charges was arrested on new fraud charges Tuesday, leading a judge to order his detention. As his Fyre Festival co-hort Ja Rule would sing, McFarland best prepare for some good "Thug Lovin'".

The plea pertained to the bungled spring 2017 Fyre Festival on the Bahamian island of Exuma that cost over 80 investors a total of $26 million (all figures US). The event was advertised on social media by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and other high-profile social media influencers. He faces up to 10 years in prison on those counts.

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