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Lou Pearlman's Ponzi Scheme
April 17, 2007 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Would you trust this man with your life's savings? Successful entrepeneur and president of Trans Continental Airlines cum boy band svengali, Lou Pearlman was the guiding hand behind N'Sync, the Backstreet Boys, and O-Town. Now, however, he's on the lam, wanted by the FBI for swindling old folks out of $317 million. Pearlman was last seen in Berlin on February 1st; as he sat in a crowded theater watching his latest creation, the German boy band US5, win an international pop award, FBI investigators were already combing through his Florida home and offices.
posted by billysumday (43 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
it would take a depraved mind to create those bands. oh, conning those little old folks out of their life savings? yeah, that's pretty bad too, I guess.
posted by shmegegge at 8:43 AM on April 17, 2007


the guiding hand behind N'Sync, the Backstreet Boys, and O-Town

Swindling old folks was the least of his crimes.
posted by three blind mice at 8:44 AM on April 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Seriously. This guy should be tried in the Hague after they capture him.
posted by psmealey at 8:46 AM on April 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


He's 'N cognito.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:49 AM on April 17, 2007 [7 favorites]


Holy crap - I thought Sterling's "Zeitgeist" was a little overdone, but it sounds like it was basically a biography of this dude. Rad.
posted by freebird at 8:51 AM on April 17, 2007


Bye Bye Bye, Lou.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:52 AM on April 17, 2007


I recommend prison for the swindling. Death by hanging for creating the boy bands.
posted by jonmc at 8:56 AM on April 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


The cool thing is that once they capture him they can just press about 5000 barrels of crude oil out of him and start in right away with the restitution. Dude is greeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaasey.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:57 AM on April 17, 2007


It's a three-pronged attack: subliminal, liminal, and super liminal.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:06 AM on April 17, 2007


He looks like Philip Seymour Hoffman; how can he be evil?
posted by Mister_A at 9:07 AM on April 17, 2007


OK, how weird is it that the official Pearlman site includes a nicely anti-aliased logo that blends right into the design, which when clicked on goes to a note from the court appointed receiver about the problems that have been uncovered? I guess the logo was there before t-con.com was seized, but it still looks mighty odd.

sail away, dude.
posted by Nelson at 9:09 AM on April 17, 2007


Seriously, that guy leaves snail trails of noxious smarm in his wake like an oil tanker with a punctured hull. Maybe the cops can use it to hone in on his position; follow the sweet scent of shyster comingled with flabby man booby sweat and a gentle kiss of eau de NAMBLA.
posted by The Straightener at 9:13 AM on April 17, 2007


"I lost everything," said John Spears, an 80-year-old, wheelchair-bound veteran who invested his life savings, some $200,000, in what he was led to believe was an insured interest-bearing savings fund.
In order of appaerence

LAss Hole, lamenting nobody forced the ol fart to underwrite, he should have known better ! Free market means I am free to do the fuck I please and I haven't told you lies, only half truths !

Fahk Yu, in the role of a young enterprising insurance salesman who just figure Lass Hole isn't that smart after all.

and many others ! Sit tight !
posted by elpapacito at 9:24 AM on April 17, 2007


What an ugly bastard.
posted by delmoi at 9:25 AM on April 17, 2007


I'm shocked to learn that N'Sync and the Backstreet Boys were managed by the same dude. That's like going to RFK and seeing Joe Gibbs calling the plays for both the Redskins and the Cowboys.*

* This is my first sports metaphor on Mefi.**
** Although it is technically a smile

posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:27 AM on April 17, 2007 [5 favorites]


I don't get this. He was so successful, why did he stoop to swindling old people? I mean he apparently made $300 million alone off N'Sync.
posted by delmoi at 9:29 AM on April 17, 2007


That's like going to RFK and seeing Joe Gibbs calling the plays for both the Redskins and the Cowboys.*

That doesn't really work, though, does it robocop? NSync and the Backstreet Boys weren't out to conquer each other.

Just our hearts.
posted by psmealey at 9:33 AM on April 17, 2007 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: It is technically a smile.
posted by Mister_A at 9:39 AM on April 17, 2007


billysumday: From his website, it seems his company is Transcontinental Companies, not Transcontinental Airlines.
posted by uncle harold at 9:41 AM on April 17, 2007


He was so successful, why did he stoop to swindling old people?

Greed.

He had been involved with previous fraud issues before; it appears to be his M.O. Even the boy band money was attained through some measure of fraud. He's fraud-awful.
posted by grubi at 9:43 AM on April 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


not Transcontinental Airlines.

Read the Wikipedia article. He started Trans-Continental Airlines first.
posted by grubi at 9:44 AM on April 17, 2007


That doesn't really work, though, does it robocop? NSync and the Backstreet Boys weren't out to conquer each other.

With all due respect, psmealey, what you do not know about the Boy Band Shadow Wars of the late 1990s could fill a warehouse.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:45 AM on April 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


But... but... he created O-TOWN! He can't possibly be bad. That man inspired musical ART! And besides, Ashley Parker Angel was so dreamy! And that Trevor? Squeeeeee! And I'm sure they're all enjoying their night shifts at In N Out now.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:49 AM on April 17, 2007


It's a fair point, robocop. But to my credit, I have forgotten more about the earlier, and deadlier Girl Group Shadow Wars of the mid-1960s than you'll ever know.
posted by psmealey at 9:49 AM on April 17, 2007


He was so successful, why did he stoop to swindling old people?

I'd guess cocaine and young boys. I'm told neither is cheap.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:52 AM on April 17, 2007


psmealey: It was war. War is hell. My ears are still bleeding.
posted by wierdo at 9:52 AM on April 17, 2007


they're all enjoying their night shifts at In N Out now

Oh, the entendres.......
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:02 AM on April 17, 2007



I'm shocked to learn that N'Sync and the Backstreet Boys were managed by the same dude.


Why is this shocking? Brian Epstein managed the Beatles and the Stones along with dozens of other hugely popular 'boy bands' of the time.
posted by spicynuts at 10:03 AM on April 17, 2007


miss lynnster: I had never heard of O-town 'til now. Thanks a lot, jerk.
posted by Mister_A at 10:07 AM on April 17, 2007


Is it just me who finds these four words in conjunction to be suggestive of some other sort of scandal?

"cum boy band svengali"
posted by imperium at 10:08 AM on April 17, 2007


Pearlman, Bialystock and Bloom. I half expect him to start singing and tango out the door with a bag of money tucked under his arm.

Ah. Boy Band Shadow Wars. Peace was finally negotiated with the help of Jimmy Carter. Oh. Wait no. That was Nell Carter. We will only know the truth when the material is declassified in 2026.

In the words of the elder Colonel Davy Jones, as he spoke to a young brash Lt. Mark Wahlberg:

"War isn't about you dieing for your label, it's making the other poor bastard die for his. I want you to remember this as you moon walking through the guts of what used to be your second tenor."
posted by tkchrist at 10:09 AM on April 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


But to my credit, I have forgotten more about the earlier, and deadlier Girl Group Shadow Wars of the mid-1960s than you'll ever know.

You know, they called World War One the "War to End All Wars" and "The Great War", but that didn't make it so. While I admire your extensive knowledge of the Girl Group Wars, psmealey (I especially liked your presentation "The Firebombing of Motown - The Ascention of the Ronettes" that you gave at the '03 conference), it's too easy to look at body count as the sole deliminator of a war's impact. War, and the approach to war, evolves. The Boy Band Shadow War is the next stage of this evolution. Decentralized cells of adorable, approachable young men faning out through the mall food courts and pop stations of America are nigh on impossible to totally root out. Unlike the takedown of Phil Spector, there is no way to just cut off the head and let the body die.

These are dark times we live in. No doubt someone was too close to Pearlman and he's gone to ground. Bad stuff coming. Keep your eye on Justin Timberlake. He's a marked man now.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:21 AM on April 17, 2007 [4 favorites]


spicynuts: Brian Epstein managed the Beatles and other pop groups (including Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, The Fourmost, The Cyrkle, and Cilla Black), but not the Stones.
posted by Lord Kinbote at 10:24 AM on April 17, 2007


Keep your eye on Justin Timberlake. He's a marked man now.

He's Bringin Embezzlement Back.
posted by spicynuts at 10:24 AM on April 17, 2007


Lord Kinbote, you are correct, obviously. I was misrembering the early interactions between the two bands. The Stones were managed by Allen Klein.
posted by spicynuts at 10:28 AM on April 17, 2007


War, and the approach to war, evolves.

I'm trying to come up with some joke about Ron Pearlman's line from the Fallout games, "War. War never changes." given that he and the guy in the OP have the same last name.

Can't... compose... horribly nerdy joke...
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:33 AM on April 17, 2007


Based on his track record I think the FBI should be looking for him in areas where people club baby seals.
posted by Challahtronix at 10:49 AM on April 17, 2007


Does this count as cosmic irony?
posted by es_de_bah at 10:54 AM on April 17, 2007


Unlike the takedown of Phil Spector, there is no way to just cut off the head and let the body die.

I thought the takedown of Phil Spector would trigger mass upheaval, à al Gabrilo Princip's job on the Archduke, but oddly (and ominously) it went underground from there.

We are all doomed. It's now just a question of when.
posted by psmealey at 11:26 AM on April 17, 2007


they're all enjoying their night shifts at In N Out now

Oh, the entendres.......


More like In N'Out
posted by Afroblanco at 11:55 AM on April 17, 2007


It looks like he's using the "Fat Girl Angle Shot" on his home page. (Link NSFW, Tasteless)
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:08 PM on April 17, 2007


Oh DAMN you Dr-Baa, you beat me to it!
posted by lemonfridge at 1:55 PM on April 17, 2007


Squeeeeee!

That reminds me of the time I was working in the Dallas West End and N'sync showed up one afternoon for something ... to sing and dance or somesuch. Being the curious code monkeys, some co-workers and I went down to the street to check it out.

Let me tell you the audible destruction of about 8000 10-16 year old girls making that "Squeeeeee!" sound still gives me nightmares.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 2:17 PM on April 17, 2007


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