Lou Pearlman – The Great Scandal of the Boyband Mogul

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Lou Pearlman is an American record producer and creator of some of the most famous boy bands ever known. He is the creator of Backstreet Boys and also their rival band NSYNC. The disgraced mogul was apprehended for running one of the most scandalous Ponzi schemes ever. He was accused in 2006 and he pleaded guilty to money laundering, conspiracy, and making false statements during the proceeding. He was arrested in 2008 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Lou Pearlman died as an ungraceful mogul in 2016 in federal custody.

Lou Pearlman Frauds NSYNC

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In the 90s, NSYNC had become one of the most famous boy-bands ever. Their debut album had sold more than 10 million records. The girls were crazy after each and every artist of the group. The fans were buying their CDs, buying merchandise of their names, and crowding outside MTV’s RTL. The kind of attention and love they were receiving was unreal and unprecedented. The credit for the entire stardom of the band went to Lou Pearlman. He was not only managing NSYNC but also Backstreet Boys. He made sure those two names were the biggest juggernauts of the 90s. 

During the initial phase, the NSYNC artists were being paid $35 per day. They were eagerly waiting to become millionaires overnight. Their hopes were very high when they met Lou Pearson at the steakhouse where the latter had invited them. Upon receiving their cheques, they were beyond shocked. Instead of receiving millions that they had rightfully earned, they received the amount of $10,000. The artists believed that the amount did not match at all with the hard work they had done and the reception their music had received from the audience. 

The artists began calling their lawyers and the case was soon taken to the court. It was revealed that Lou Pearlman had some hidden clauses in the contract that stated that he was NSYNC. The judge saw right through the con and passed the judgment in favor of the artists. 

Lou Pearlman & The Ponzi Scheme


Lou Pearlman ran one of the largest and longest Ponzi Schemes ever. He made a fake company named Trans Continental Airlines Inc. that only existed on papers but not in reality. With the help of his so-called company, he attracted many investors. The investors were defrauded of almost $300 million in over 20 years. Lou Pearlman went as deep as forging fake documents from Lloyd’s of London, AIG, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In 2007, the company was declared fraud and the hunt for Lou Pearson had begun.

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He was seen in Russia, Belarus, Panama, Israel, Brazil, and Spain before getting arrested in Bali. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2008. The judge also said that with every million that Lou Pearson helps recover, he will be able to reduce one month from his sentence.

Lou Pearson & Harassment

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Lou Pearson has also been accused of the attempt of sexual molestation. LFO singer Rich Cronin and Howard Stern have gone on record and said that Lou tried to seduce them on multiple occasions. The one who agreed with his offers were taken care of lavishly. However, these allegations do not have real proof. Nick Carter, member of NSYNC denied such allegations and hinted that the sourness for Lou Pearson in everyone’s head might be the reason for such gossips.

Lou Pearson died in 2010 due to stroke. It seemed that Lou Pearson was never really apologetic for his acts and in fact, boasted being one of the greatest conmen ever. His colleagues and people who have known him have mixed feelings regarding his arrest and death. Although, they are relieved, to say the least.

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