Boy band svengali LOU PEARLMAN has been sentenced to 25 years in jail after pleading guilty to cheating investors and U.S. banks out of more than $300 million (ÃÂ£150 million).
The man behind the Backstreet Boys and N’ Sync was charged with conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding.
He reached a plea deal with prosecutors in March (08), which left him facing up to 25 years behind bars and a $1 million (ÃÂ£500,000) fine.
As part of the agreement, he agreed to work with federal agents to recover as much of the $300 million (ÃÂ£150 million) he is accused of stealing.
Pearlman also acknowledged setting up a fake accounting firm to create business documents and tax returns for himself and his companies and he admitted using the signature of a deceased former associate to stall repayment bids.
The shamed businessman is suspected of defrauding another $100 million (ÃÂ£50 million) from banks.
Pearlman appeared in a Florida court on Wednesday (21May08) morning, when he was handed the full prison term by U.S. Judge G. Kendall Sharp.
Delivering the sentence, Sharp held up a book of letters from Pearlman’s victims, noting that his targets included “his family, his close friends and people in their 70s and 80s who have lost their life savings”.
He added, “So the sympathy factor doesn’t run high with the court.”