Fyre Festival Promoter Arrested on New Set of Fraud Charges

Billy McFarland

Billy McFarland Charged for Coachella & Super Bowl Scam While Awaiting Sentencing for Fyre Festival

Billy McFarland, 26, will remain behind bars until a judge, who is scheduled to sentence him next week in the festival case, decides whether he can be freed on bail.

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.

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.

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.

Attendees at Fyre Festival in the Bahamas were promised a luxurious, private party, but instead found themselves eating bread and cheese sandwiches under a tent. An attorney for McFarland did not immediately respond to Variety's request for comment. 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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"The weight of the evidence here is quite strong", Greenberg said.

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.

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

Jackson said his client has been cooperative with the government and was ready to answer any questions.

Fyre Festival was one of the biggest flops in the history of music festivals.

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