Fyre Founder Billy McFarland Faces Two New Criminal Charges - Rolling Stone
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Fyre Founder Billy McFarland Faces Two New Criminal Charges

Disgraced entrepreneur hit with new charges of wire fraud and money laundering

Fyre Founder Billy McFarland Faces New ChargesFyre Founder Billy McFarland Faces New Charges

New charges were filed against Fyre co-founder Billy McFarland.

Mark Lennihan/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland, who pleaded guilty to criminal charges after the implosion of his luxury music festival in 2017, faces new charges on Tuesday, Mic reports. McFarland is now accused of committing wire fraud and money laundering.

Documents filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of New York alleged that McFarland “engaged in a sham ticket-selling business for exclusive events through a company controlled and operated by McFarland (‘NYC VIP Access’).” In addition, FBI said that McFarland “perpetrated a scheme to defraud attendees of the Fyre Festival and others by soliciting them to purchase tickets from NYC VIP Access to exclusive events when, in fact, no such tickets existed.”

Initial attempts to reach McFarland for comment were unsuccessful.

This is a new blow to McFarland. After the Fyre Festival, which he co-founded, collapsed last year in spectacular fashion – many attendees were stranded in the Bahamas, and musicians quickly canceled their appearances – McFarland was named in multiple class-action lawsuits. He is currently awaiting sentencing: In March, he pleaded guilty to both misleading investors and committing wire fraud. 

Each of McFarland’s two wire fraud charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, though prosecutors and the disgraced entrepreneur’s lawyers reportedly reached an agreement for him to serve a 97-to-120 month term. McFarland’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 21st.

The documents filed by the FBI on Tuesday ask the court to issue a new arrest warrant for McFarland. The FBI alleges that McFarland scammed consumers who were hoping to obtain tickets to high profile events like the Grammys, the Met Gala and even Burning Man. 


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