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U.S. Marshals put Fyre Festival merchandise up for auction

Billy McFarland, the promoter of the failed Fyre

Billy McFarland, the promoter of the failed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, is serving a 6-year sentence for defrauding investors of $26 million and other charges in the scam. Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

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 U.S. Marshals Service.

In a release Thursday, the U.S. 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 more than $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.

“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,” U.S. 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 such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski had promoted the event on social media.

Customers who paid $1,200 to more than $100,000 hoping to see blink-182 and the hip-hop act Migos arrived to learn that musical acts were canceled. Their luxury accommodations and gourmet food consisted of leaky white tents and packaged food, prompting attendees to lash out on social media with the hashtag #fyrefraud.

Among the mementos of that festival are sweatpants, shirts and tokens emblazoned with “a conspiracy to change the entertainment world.” As of Sunday, the lots ranged from $21 — the minimum bid for sets of two wristbands — to $305 for a hooded sweatshirt with a hand-sewn label that had received 46 bids since the auction opened Thursday.

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The auction, run by Texas-based Gaston & Sheehan, ends Aug. 13.

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