American Greed

Boy Band Mogul: Fame and Fraud

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Boy Band Mogul

Lou Pearlman, the legendary manager of *NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys, lives a lifestyle of fame, fortune and fraud.  He's the mastermind who scams $500 million from investors!

Lou Pearlman, the legendary manager of *NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys, lives a lifestyle of fame, fortune and fraud.  He's the mastermind who scams $500 million from investors!

Famous Cousin

Lou's first taste of stardom probably came from his first cousin, Art Garfunkel.
Source:  AP Graphics

Lou's first taste of stardom probably came from his first cousin, Art Garfunkel.

The Backstreet Boys

In 1993 Pearlman assembles five talented singers and names them “The Backstreet Boys.”  They quickly became a multi-platinum, multi-million dollar worldwide sensation.
Source: Donna Wright

In 1993 Pearlman assembles five talented singers and names them “The Backstreet Boys.”  They quickly became a multi-platinum, multi-million dollar worldwide sensation.

Band Manager

Donna Wright, owner of Wright Stuff Management, agreed to manage the Backstreet Boys with her husband Johnny Wright after viewing a video of the boys at Pearlman's offices in Orlando.    She eventually suspected Pearlman was taking more than his fair share of the proceeds.
Source: Donna Wright

Donna Wright, owner of Wright Stuff Management, agreed to manage the Backstreet Boys with her husband Johnny Wright after viewing a video of the boys at Pearlman's offices in Orlando.    She eventually suspected Pearlman was taking more than his fair share of the proceeds.

*NYSNC

Lou Pearlman's subsequent boy band,  *NSYNC, became a worldwide phenomenon, selling millions of records.
Source: AP Graphics Bank

Lou Pearlman's subsequent boy band,  *NSYNC, became a worldwide phenomenon, selling millions of records.

Bitter Split

Pearlman makes millions from the success of *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, and endures bitter splits with them over what the bands saw as unfair management contracts. He settled with both bands outside of court.
Source: Donna Wright

Pearlman makes millions from the success of *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, and endures bitter splits with them over what the bands saw as unfair management contracts. He settled with both bands outside of court.

Take Five

Pearlman's boy band “Take Five” worked long hours and performed all over the world, but saw little of the proceeds.  Never able to build a strong enough case against Pearlman, they eventually disbanded.
Source: Merrily Goodell

Pearlman's boy band “Take Five” worked long hours and performed all over the world, but saw little of the proceeds.  Never able to build a strong enough case against Pearlman, they eventually disbanded.

UP, UP AND AWAY

Lou Pearlman's childhood fascination with blimps leads his first venture in 1978…an outdoor advertising business, Airship International, where companies place their logos on the side of his blimps.
Source: Alan Gross

Lou Pearlman's childhood fascination with blimps leads his first venture in 1978…an outdoor advertising business, Airship International, where companies place their logos on the side of his blimps.

Investor David Mathis

Pearlman eventually forms Trans Continental Airlines. David Mathis invested millions of dollars into the umbrella company.  Little did Mathis know, Trans Continental Airlines is nothing but a shell company.
Source: David Mathis

Pearlman eventually forms Trans Continental Airlines. David Mathis invested millions of dollars into the umbrella company.  Little did Mathis know, Trans Continental Airlines is nothing but a shell company.

Investor Connie Cesare

Connie Cesare invested $250,000 dollars into Pearlman's bogus EISA retirement program.  Lou Pearlman used her money, along with millions of others' money, to fund his lavish lifestyle.
Source: Kurtis Productions

Connie Cesare invested $250,000 dollars into Pearlman's bogus EISA retirement program.  Lou Pearlman used her money, along with millions of others' money, to fund his lavish lifestyle.

Lavish Lifestyle

Pearlman spent $250,000 dollars on this Rolex with a matching ring and cufflinks totaling $425,000 dollars.
Source: Kurtis Productions

Pearlman spent $250,000 dollars on this Rolex with a matching ring and cufflinks totaling $425,000 dollars.

Million Dollar Mansion

Lou Pearlman in front of his $12.5 million dollar mansion in Windermere, a home he afforded by conning investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Source: FBI

Lou Pearlman in front of his $12.5 million dollar mansion in Windermere, a home he afforded by conning investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Forgery Discovered

Chicago attorney Ed Brooks had his client's signature analyzed by a handwriting expert when he suspected forgery by Lou Pearlman. He was right.
Source: Kurtis Productions

Chicago attorney Ed Brooks had his client's signature analyzed by a handwriting expert when he suspected forgery by Lou Pearlman. He was right.

The Reporter

Helen Huntley, reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, keeps investors abreast of the Pearlman investigation on her blog, which eventually leads to Pearlman's arrest.
Source: Kurtis Productions

Helen Huntley, reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, keeps investors abreast of the Pearlman investigation on her blog, which eventually leads to Pearlman's arrest.

The Arrest

Pearlman was nabbed at a resort on the Indonesian island of Bali by the FBI attaché in Jakarta.  He is currently serving a 25-year sentence.Find out more...

Pearlman was nabbed at a resort on the Indonesian island of Bali by the FBI attaché in Jakarta.  He is currently serving a 25-year sentence.

Find out more...