Great Exuma, Bahamas

Mental Illness Led To Fyre Festival Promoter's Crime

September 24, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — 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.

Related: Ja Rule 'Not Ashamed' of The Failure of The Fyre Festival

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."

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 canceled.