Pearlman defrauded investors, defrauded banks, and even attempted to cheat his own legal team. He was ultimately sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and money laundering, having stolen over $300 million from investors through fictitious businesses with faked financial statements.
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Lance Bass on How the Con Man Behind NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys Preyed on Young Stars
Lou Pearlman created the biggest boy bands of the ’90s. He made them superstars, swindled millions and, a new documentary alleges, pressured them into ‘questionable scenarios.’
By Amy Zimmerman, The Daily Beast | The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story, directed by Aaron Kunkel and produced by NSYNC’s own Lance Bass, will forever change the way you think about the boy band era. Behind the smooth vocal harmonies, synchronized dance moves, coordinated ‘90s ensembles, countless No. 1 hits and legions of fervid fans, there was one man: the late, disgraced Lou Pearlman. The Pilgrim Media Group and Lance Bass Productions documentary, presented by YouTube Originals, deep dives into the human costs of Pearlman’s biggest crimes.
Interviews with Ponzi scheme victims shed some light on his empire of lies. Pearlman defrauded investors, defrauded banks, and even attempted to cheat his own legal team. He was ultimately sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and money laundering, having stolen over $300 million from investors through fictitious businesses with faked financial statements. In 2016, he died in federal custody.
Pearlman’s dual legacies, as a decades-long con artist and the man behind some of the biggest boy bands of all time, are forever intertwined. Pearlman used stolen money to finance his bands, and impressed investors with his entertainment industry success stories. He also infamously swindled his own artists. Speaking to The Daily Beast ahead of The Boy Band Con premiere at SXSW, producer Lance Bass explained that, “Everyone in this film is a victim in one way or the other.”
Like any good con artist, Lou Pearlman promised the world. “Lou gave us all the ability to have lives today,” Aaron Carter insists at one point in the film. “Who knows where I would have ended up in Tampa, you know? In jail?” Through his Trans Continental Records, Pearlman was able to churn out a slew of profitable boy bands, from the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC to O-Town and LFO. But Pearlman didn’t treat his artists like walking ATMs—at least not at first.
The Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean recalls when he and Nick Carter “had a double birthday party at Lou’s house”; they were always encouraged to invite friends over. It was a pool party. “[Pearlman] was a big kid,” McLean notes. “His house was like a giant theme park.” O-Town’s Ashley Parker Angel agrees that, “It was like Disneyland,” and similarly recalls “boy band parties” that Pearlman would host at the mansion.
Go here to read the full article:
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2020 Relates the Story of Lou Pearlman and How He Stole Millions from Boy Bands
Notorious boy band manager Lou Pearlman gets his start flying blimps: Part 1 People who grew up with Pearlman said he lied often. Pearlman later took a great interest in music but in the meantime started a blimp advertising business.
Watch the full episode of 20/20 here:
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If you would like to read more – and learn just how Pearlman made his millions from fleecing unsuspecting people, go here:
[Editor’s note: The COMBO board has noticed that a couple of young musicians from the Denver area may have this happening to them. Please take heed and read these articles carefully. YOU may recognize yourself in them so be very careful where you tread.]