Fyre Festival's Founder Was Just Hit with Two New Charges

Article by: Laura Mason|@masonlazarus

Tue June 12, 2018 | 18:50 PM

June is already shaping up to be a gnarly one for former Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland. He is set to be sentenced this month after pleading guilty to wire fraud. But today, it was revealed by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office that McFarland is now facing two new charges –  money laundering and, again, wire fraud – stemming from a post-Fyre Festival ticket scam he ran during the months he awaited sentencing.

According new court filings, McFarland set up a “sham ticket-selling business for exclusive events through a company controlled and operated by McFarland" called NYC VIP Access. McFarland, through this company, “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.

The court filings claim McFarland allegedly engaged in a scheme to sell fake tickets to events like the Grammys, the Super Bowl, Coachella, the Met Gala and Burning Man. Maybe he was desperate to raise money to pay for all those lawyers he now employs? Either way, yikes. Fifteen customers bought around $100,000 worth of tickets, and then never received them (obviously).

Pitchfork reports that "McFarland is also accused of attempting to conceal his involvement with NYC VIP Access by posing as the company’s other employees."

Mic.com, which is currently developing a documentary on the Fyre Festival fiasco in partnership with Billboard and filmmaker Jenner Furst, reported that Furst, who was in the courtroom as the new charges against McFarland were announced, said it was a "somber scene," and that “His parents were distraught, his girlfriend was crying, and it didn’t seem like he was coming home anytime soon.”

With all these new developments it's clear that documentary's going to be a juicy one.