The promoter of a failed music pageant within the Bahamas who’s awaiting sentencing on fraud fees was arrested on new fraud fees Tuesday, main a decide to order his detention.
Billy McFarland, 26, will stay behind bars till a decide, who’s scheduled to condemn him subsequent week within the pageant case, decides whether or not he will be freed on bail.
McFarland pleaded responsible to wire fraud fees in March in a deal that referred to as for him to serve between eight and 10 years in jail, though he has requested leniency with no incarceration.
The plea pertained to the bungled spring 2017 Fyre Festival on the Bahamian island of Exuma that price over 80 buyers a complete of $26 million (all figures US). The pageant was something however the ultra-luxurious occasion promoted as “the cultural expertise of the last decade” and touted on social media by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and different fashions and celebrities.
His lawyer, Randall Jackson, argued Tuesday that McFarland had confirmed he was no danger to flee by surrendering when he discovered FBI brokers have been trying for him. He additionally mentioned one in all McFarland’s colleagues, cooperating with prosecutors, was framing him.
“We vigorously contest what’s on this criticism,” he instructed U.S. Justice of the Peace Choose Gabriel W. Gorenstein in Manhattan.
Pretend tickets to Met Gala, Grammys
Assistant U.S. Legal professional Kristy Greenberg referred to as McFarland a monetary menace to the group, saying he’d used the shopper listing of the Fyre Festival to pitch a brand new ticket fraud that promised tickets to music, vogue and sporting occasions that he did not possess and had no means of getting.
Prosecutors mentioned over 15 victims had been bilked since late final yr of greater than $100,000 as McFarland and his staff bought non-existent tickets to the 2018 Met Gala, Burning Man 2018, Coachella 2018, the 2018 Grammy Awards, Tremendous Bowl LII and a Cleveland Cavaliers sport that would come with a workforce dinner with Lebron James.
Greenberg mentioned McFarland was dwelling lavishly with monthlong stays in luxurious resorts and excursions to costly eating places. And he’d instructed his staff that he would flee if he’s sentenced to over three years in jail subsequent week, she mentioned.
“The burden of the proof right here is kind of robust,” Greenberg mentioned. “He focused the identical victims who tried to attend his Fyre Festival.”
She mentioned prosecutors have been contemplating extra fees together with financial institution fraud and an id theft cost that might carry a compulsory two-year jail sentence upon conviction.
“Mr. McFarland is a serial fraudster, plain and easy,” Greenberg instructed Gorenstein.
“Mr. McFarland is a big time period of imprisonment.”
Jackson mentioned his shopper has been cooperative with the federal government and was able to reply any questions.
Gorenstein, noting that McFarland would possible face a further two years or so in jail if he’s convicted within the new case, mentioned that if he’s freed on bail within the Fyre Festival case, he’ll face a $1 million bail on the brand new fees.