×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland, who pleaded guilty to two counts wire fraud in March, was charged Tuesday with running a fraudulent ticket-selling scam while he was out on bail and faces new charges, federal prosecutors told the New York Times on Tuesday.

McFarland was rearrested Tuesday and charged with earning $100,000 by selling fake tickets to events including the Coachella Festival and the Met Gala through NYC VIP Access, a company he controlled, and attempted to hide his involvement by sending sale proceeds to other people’s bank accounts, according to multiple news reports.

The charges add third count of wire fraud onto the existing two counts, as well as a count of money laundering. 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.

Prosecutors said McFarland, 26, began running the scheme late last year, several months after his arrest for defrauding Fyre investors out of $26 million. They also allege that he may have committed bank fraud and identity theft in the past few months.

“William McFarland, already awaiting sentencing for a prior fraud scheme, allegedly continued to conduct criminal business as usual,” United States Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on his original charges next week. An attorney for McFarland did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.

The heavily hyped Fyre Festival was to be a “luxury concert” — taking place on a small island in the Bahamas and featuring Blink-182, Migos and Disclosure — but collapsed on in a mess of disorganization on April 29 before it had even started. Far from the luxury accommodations and celebrity-chef-prepared meals promised by its producers —McFarland and rapper Ja Rule — concertgoers were met with flimsy tents, boxed lunches, near-total disorganization and long waits for flights to return to the mainland after airlines began refusing to fly would-be concertgoers to the overcrowded island of Exumas.

One production professional briefly associated with the festival told Variety the event was marked by “incompetence on an almost inconceivable scale.”

 

 

 

More Music

  • Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'WKRP In

    Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'Big Guy' Carlson on 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' Dies at 86

    Gerald “Jerry” Blum, the inspiration for the character of radio station general manager Art “Big Guy” Carlson on the long-running TV sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” died Saturday at 86. The Atlanta radio veteran was affectionately transformed into the fictional Carlson by veteran comic actor Gordon Jump on “WKRP,” which ran for four seasons on CBS [...]

  • Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint

    Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint Venture

    Arista Records and Smokepurpp/ Lil Mosey manager Josh Marshall today announced the launch of Mogul Vision Music, a new joint venture label focused on “breaking extraordinary talent and building artist careers through innovative A&R, branding and marketing strategy,” according to the announcement. Based in New York with Marshall (pictured above left, with Massey) as its CEO, the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Faces Prison, Career Ruin if He Lied About Attack

    Jussie Smollett is facing prison time and the implosion of his career if it turns out he lied about being the target of a hate crime, legal and public relations experts say. “The best thing that Jussie can do is pray and pray a lot,” said Ronn Torossian, founder of 5W Public Relations. “If he [...]

  • Ryan Adams Capitol Records 75th Anniversary

    Ryan Adams Silenced by Radio Amid Allegations

    Ryan Adams, currently mired in sexual harassment charges raised by a story in the New York Times last week, is being abandoned in droves at Adult Album Alternative radio stations around the country. The singer/songwriter had been a stalwart of Triple A since scoring No. 1 singles with “New York, New York” in December 2001 [...]

  • Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue

    Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue Biopic 'The Dirt'

    Netflix has dropped the first trailer for its Motley Crue biopic “The Dirt” — based on Neil Strauss’ best-selling history of the legendarily bad-behaved ‘80s metal icons — and it looks like the film pulls no punches in terms of the band’s famously sordid history. In this two-minute trailer, we get glimpses of singer Vince [...]

  • Martin Bandier to Be Honored at

    Martin Bandier to Be Honored at Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony

    Martin Bandier, outgoing chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, will be awarded the Visionary Leadership Award at the 50 th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. According to the announcement, the Visionary Leadership Award “acknowledges a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Board [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content