Lou Perlman is credited with starting the boyband craze of the 90s. He managed the Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, O-Town and many others. However, little did they know, he was scamming all of them.
In 2008, a judge sentenced Lou Pearlman to 25 years in prison for cheating investors out of more than $300 million over the course of two decades. Pearlman convinced both individual investors and banks to invest in two shell companies that only existed on paper. It’s considered one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history.
Both the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync sued him because he was taking an extremely large share of the band’s revenue. It’s been reported that at one point BSB had made only 300k vs. millions for Pearlman. The bands prevailed over Pearlman and got some of their money back.
Pearlman himself is in jail for the $300m he stole from investors, with the condition he could reduce a month off his sentence for ever million he returned.