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The Festival Fizzled Out. But the Feds Find a Way to Profit

The US Marshals Service puts merchandise and 'minor assets' up for auction
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 1, 2020 5:00 PM CDT
The Festival Fizzled Out. But the Feds Find a Way to Profit
In this March 6, 2018 file photo, Billy McFarland, the promoter of the failed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, leaves federal court after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(Newser) – More than three years after the highly publicized Fyre Festival famously fizzled out in the Bahamas, merchandise and other "minor assets" are up for sale—courtesy of the US Marshals Service, the AP reports. In a release Thursday, the US Marshals announced that 126 items from the festival will be auctioned off, with proceeds going toward the victims of Billy McFarland. McFarland acknowledged defrauding investors of $26 million in the 2017 Fyre Festival and over $100,000 in a fraudulent ticket-selling scheme after his arrest in the scam. He was sentenced to six years in prison in October 2018. Now 28, he's serving his sentence at a low-security prison in Ohio, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

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"This Fyre Festival-branded clothing and other items that were seized from Billy McFarland were originally intended to be sold at the Fyre Festival itself 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," US Marshal Ralph Sozio of the Southern District of New York said in the release. The festival, billed as an ultra-luxurious event and "the cultural experience of the decade," was supposed to take place over two spring 2017 weekends on the Bahamian island of Exuma. Models and celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski had promoted it on social media. (See how the festival affected Jenner's finances.)

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