Lawyer: Mental Illness Led to Fyre Festival Promoter's Crime - NBC4 Washington
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Lawyer: Mental Illness Led to Fyre Festival Promoter's Crime

He earned tabloid headlines after fraudulently enlisting 80 investors to pour $26 million into a festival

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Lawyer: Mental Illness Led to Fyre Festival Promoter's Crime
    AP, File
    Billy McFarland, the promoter of the failed Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, leaves federal court after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges, in this March 6, 2018, file photo, in New York.

    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.

    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."

    All Charges Dropped Against 'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett

    [NATL] All Charges Dropped Against 'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett

    Cook County prosecutors abruptly dropped all charges against 'Empire' star Jussie Smollett in a stunning development. Prosecutors charged Smollett with filing a false police report following an alleged racist and homophobic attack by two men late January.

    (Published Tuesday, March 26, 2019)

    McFarland earned tabloid headlines after fraudulently enlisting 80 investors to pour $26 million into a festival promoted as an ultra-luxurious event on the Bahamian island of Exuma over two weekends in April and May 2017.

    Customers hoping to see Blink-182 and the hip hop act Migos arrived to learn music acts were canceled. Their upscale accommodations and gourmet food consisted of white tents and cheese sandwiches.

    McFarland admitted using fake documents to trick investors in the festival, which ultimately was canceled.