US Marshals auctioning off Fyre Festival merchandise for Billy McFarland victims
The U.S. Marshals are selling items from the infamous 2017 Fyre Festival organized by William “Billy” McFarland, who was convicted of fraud over the event and sentenced to six years in prison.
The online auction, which began on Thursday and will run through Aug. 13, is selling off Fyre Festival branded clothing, tokens and wristbands.
The items were initially intended to be sold at the music festival in the Bahamas but “were kept by McFarland, with the intent to sell the items and use the funds to commit further criminal acts while he was on pre-trial release,” said U.S. Marshal Ralph Sozio of the Southern District of New York.
The proceeds from the auction will go toward the victims of McFarland’s crimes, according to the agency.
The disastrous festival was scheduled to take place over two weekends in April and May 2017. Major celebrities were reportedly paid in secret to promote the festival, which was pitched as a luxury, elite gathering for social media influencers and musicians.
Guests paid thousands of dollars to attend the music festival, but the event was canceled after the company failed to provide adequate food, security, housing, transportation and basic services for ticket holders.
The scheme to defraud more than 80 investors, as well as the ticket vendor, reportedly caused more than $26 million in losses, according to the U.S. Marshals.
McFarland, two companies he founded and two former colleagues in 2018 agreed to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission more than $27 million.
The 28-year-old entrepreneur was sentenced to a combined prison term of six years for fraud charges.
He was denied compassionate release in April after unsuccessfully arguing that his pre-existing health condition made him more susceptible to the coronavirus. He told The New York Post earlier this month that he had tested positive for COVID-19 in prison.
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