Boy-Band Brain Gets 25 Years for Fraud

Pearlman gets max for scamming investors, banks out of $300M
By Elizabeth Wolff,  Newser User
Posted May 22, 2008 11:21 AM CDT
Lou Pearlman is best known for creating the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync.   (AP Photo/John Raoux, FILE)
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(Newser) – Lou Pearlman, the honcho behind the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced yesterday to the maximum of 25 years in federal prison for masterminding a decades-long scam that bilked thousands of investors out of some $300 million, the AP reports. "The sympathy factor just doesn't run very high with the court," the judge said.

Pearlman, 53, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy, money laundering, and fraud charges in March, can shave a month off his sentence for every $1 million he returns to the friends, family, and aging retirees he swindled. But his attorney insisted: "there's no pot of gold out there."