Awaiting sentencing, Fyre Festival promoter arrested again

Getty Images  Patrick McMullan

Sweeney Jr., head of New York's Federal Bureau of Investigation office, says new charges show that McFarland didn't stop committing crimes after pleading guilty in March to defrauding investors and vendors in the Fyre Festival.

After that collapse, Fyre co-founder Billy McFarland was charged with wire fraud and intentionally making false statements to banks. Not including the offenses for which he has already plead guilty and is awaiting sentencing, McFarland is facing up to 20 years in jail for the new charges.

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). He also said one of McFarland's colleagues, cooperating with prosecutors, was framing him. An attorney for McFarland did not immediately respond to Variety's request for comment.

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

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Billy McFarland was ordered detained Tuesday after his arrest on charges he operated a sham ticket scheme, selling fraudulent tickets to music and sporting events. And he'd told his workers that he would flee if he is sentenced to over three years in prison next week, she said. Sweeney said in a statement, "McFarland allegedly went on to sell fraudulent tickets to many grand events, totaling nearly $100,000".

Because of the new complaint, the government has asked the judge in McFarland's other criminal case - the one he pled guilty to in March - to suspend the sentencing scheduled for next week until it can amend its pre-sentencing report.

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

McFarland reportedly made $100,000 United States dollars by selling these fake tickets, and according to a judge in Manhattan, McFarland would likely face an additional two years or so in prison if he is convicted in the new case.