Billy McFarland, the low-rent scam artist responsible for the festival disaster heard 'round the internet, is back in trouble for conning people again.
McFarland, 26, sold fake tickets to exclusive events, including the Met Gala and Coachella, for several months while he was awaiting sentencing for charges related to the Fyre Festival, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY.
The plea pertained to the bungled spring 2017 Fyre Festival on the Bahamian island of Exuma that cost over 80 investors a total of $26 million (all figures US). Sweeney said in a statement, "McFarland allegedly went on to sell fraudulent tickets to many grand events, totaling nearly $100,000".
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. The festival was anything but the ultra-luxurious event promoted as "the cultural experience of the decade" and touted on social media by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and other models and celebrities. The Fyre Festival founder was arrested for allegedly selling fraud tickets for fashion, music and sport events. McFarland's lawyers were not immediately available to comment on the new charges.
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Greenberg said McFarland was living lavishly with monthlong stays in luxury hotels and excursions to expensive restaurants.
"The weight of the evidence here is quite strong", Greenberg said.
"William McFarland, already awaiting sentencing for a prior fraud scheme, allegedly continued to conduct criminal business as usual", wrote Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in a statement.
"Mr. McFarland is a serial fraudster plain and simple", prosecutor Kristy Greenberg told the judge. On Tuesday, he was charged with starting another fraudulent company late past year and running it right up until he entered his guilty plea for Fyre Festival three months ago.