Industry News

Fyre Fest promoter arrested after new ticket scam

Billy McFarland, promoter of the ill-fated Fyre Festival that took place in the Bahamas last year, has been arrested on new ticketing fraud charges.

The promoter, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in March and agreed to serve up to a decade in prison for lying to investors and sending false documents, faces a new set of charges after being arrested yesterday (Tuesday) in relation to a recent ticketing scam.

McFarland was allegedly selling fraudulent tickets to sporting, fashion, and music events through his NYC VIP Access firm.

“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 F. Sweeney Jr. said in a press release.

“McFarland allegedly went on to sell fraudulent tickets to many grand events, totalling almost $100,000. Today’s charges depict our intolerance for such fraudulent activity, and we will continue to diligently investigate acts such as this.”

NYC VIP Access was claiming to sell tickets to major events such as the Grammys, the Met Gala, Coachella, and the Super Bowl.

According to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, the scam affected a minimum of 15 victims, who were collectively charged around $100,000 for the phony tickets.

McFarland has been charged with money laundering and another count of wire fraud, both of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Image: Ian Moran