Fyre Festival Promoter Pleads Guilty to Ticket-Scam Charges

Billy McFarland, the architect of the failed 2017 Fyre Festival, pleaded guilty to new charges that he ran a fraudulent ticket business while on bail facing earlier fraud charges connected to the disastrous luxury concert series in the Bahamas.

McFarland, 26, was charged last month with taking in more than $100,000 from at least 15 people for tickets to such events as the Met Gala, Coachella and the Super Bowl. He told a federal judge in Manhattan Thursday that he "did not in fact have those tickets in hand." The new plea adds as many as four more years to the possible 10 years in prison he faced for the earlier crime.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 17 for both the Fyre Festival fraud and the ticket scam.

McFarland’s 2017 festival began with promises of music and luxury and descended into a chaos of badly constructed tents, cold cheese sandwiches and a lack of sufficient bathrooms. He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of wire fraud, telling a judge that he “grossly underestimated the resources that would be necessary to hold an event of this magnitude.”

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