Last year, 26-year-old Billy McFarland faced a $100 million lawsuit after teaming up with the likes of Ja Rule, Kylie Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and more celebrities to promote a festival in the Caribbean promising villas, divine cuisine, and an experience of a life time. Festival goers were disappointed when they arrived at the destination via cargo ships to be surrounded by FEMA tents and crusty cheese sandwiches. People spent thousands of dollars on tickets, and immediately wanted action against the scamming millionaires. McFarland pled guilty in March 2018 to defrauding investors and vendors, and agreed to a $26 million forfeiture.
But once a scammer, always a scammer. Almost immediately after the Fyre Festival disaster last summer, McFarland started a business called NYC VIP Access, selling tickets to elite events such as the Grammys, Coachella, the Met Gala, and the Super Bowl. According to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, approximately 15 people purchased fraudulent tickets through this company, totaling up to almost $100,000. McFarland was using an email account in the name of a then-employee to hide his identity from ticket buyers.
McFarland is awaiting sentencing and could be facing up to 40 years in prison.