The Ponzi Scheme Behind 90s Boy Bands

Lou Pearlman blessed our radios with 90s boy bands, with money stolen out of investors' pockets. He showed us that white-collar crime pays really well, until it doesn't.

Read more about the con-man behind Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and O-Town below.


MAN BEHIND THE BOY BANDS Lou Pearlman launched the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, O-Town, Aaron Carter, LFO, Take 5, and Innocense, among others. He did it Source: Hollywood Reporter


HE WAS A CON MAN FROM THE START Oer Whoknl Ov. Sreond Vader Pi Lore thde Betieye it or IL ice fus La Enforc Dir He got his start by founding a helicop


HE THEN STARTED TRANSCONTINENTAL AIRLINES He convinced investors to get in on the ground floor of his fleet of planes and to contribute to the Employe


THE BACKSTREET BOYS WERE FUNDED BY THE SCHEME FIRST After chartering a plane for New Kids on the Block, Pearlman decided to get into the boy band busi


HE USED THE SAME METHODS FOR NSYNC He intentionally developed a rivalry between the groups, So he could be the financial winner of the feud. CRACKED.C


HE USED THEIR FAME TO SUPPORT GAIN INVESTORS He'd take potential investors for Transcontinental to the studio to see the bands recording. CRACKED.COM


EVERY BAND IN HIS ROSTER SUED HIM Although he bestowed fame and fortune upon his bands, he also robbed them. When *NSYNC had a number one album, they Source: ABC News


HE WAS ACCUSED OF MOLESTATION nforcement count There were also rumors that he molested boys in his bands. Vanity Fair wrote an expose covering this bu


IN 2006, THE TRANSCON CON WAS UP Bacd ir A week after an investigation was opened into his Transcon businesses, Pearlman fled the country.


INVESTIGATORS DISCOVERED TRANSCONTINENTAL AIRLINES HAD NO PLANES, EMPLOYEES, OR REVENUE. Lance Bass said he'd never flown on a Transcontinental plane.Source: Hollywood Reporter


IN 2008, HE WAS CONVICTED AND SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON. Pearlman died in prison in 2016. He was 62. CRACKED.COM