Bye bye bye to Pearlman’s empire

Boy-band impresario charged with bank fraud

It’s a long way from pop Svengali to popped fugitive. Or is it?

Former boy-band impresario Lou Pearlman was arrested in Indonesia June 14, charged with felony bank fraud, just days after items from his glory days were auctioned in Florida in an attempt to repay investors allegedly bilked out of $315 million.

Pearlman made the switch to music after failing in aviation, and he created two of the big-gest hitmakers of the last dozen years: the Back-street Boys and ’N Sync.

With the FBI, IRS and Florida officials looking for him a forced Chapter 11 bankruptcy auction was ordered. He lost control of his Trans Continental companies in February.

Mostly middle-aged men showed up at the June 12 sale in Orlando, Fla., some of them probably unaware that the Backstreeters and Aaron Carter don’t have the cachet they once did; a wall-hanging com-memorating the Back-street Boys selling 7 million copies of an album went for $2,200, and a ceremonial key to the city of Orlando sold for $1,400.

Pearlman is alleged to have defrauded about 1,000 investors of more than $315 million by selling a bogus savings account plan. Banks are looking for more than $120 million.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Tampa expected Pearlman to be returned to Florida.

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