Fyre Festival founder says he committed fraud because of mental illness: lawyer

ABOVE: Fyre Festival descends into chaos, frustration, leaving rich festival-goers angry.

A lawyer says mental illness caused the promoter of a failed music festival to rip off investors and commit other crimes.

Attorney Randall Jackson urged a Manhattan judge Friday to be lenient at Billy McFarland’s October sentencing.

Fyre Festival promoter pleads guilty to fraud, faces up to 10 years in prison

McFarland pleaded guilty earlier this year to defrauding investors in the 2017 Fyre Festival in the Bahamas and cheating customers in a ticket scam. Without leniency, he faces over a decade in prison.

Jackson cited a psychological report saying McFarland has Bipolar Related Disorder and may sometimes have “delusional beliefs of having special and unique talents that will lead to fame and fortune.”

Fyre Festival leaked emails show organizers ill-prepared weeks before festival

McFarland earned tabloid headlines after fraudulently enlisting 80 investors to pour $26 million into a festival promoted as “the cultural experience of the decade.” The festival was cancelled.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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