Discredited former Backstreet Boys and NSync producer and manager Lou Pearlman died Friday night while serving a 25-year prison sentence for hatching a $300 million Ponzi scheme in 2009. Pearlman was 62.
Although the cause of death has yet to be released, Pearlman suffered a stroke in 2010 while incarceration in Texas at the low-security Federal Correctional Institution Texarkana, at which time his weight dropped from 325 pounds to 250.
The famous boy bands he represented eventually sued him in Federal Court for misrepresentation and fraud, claiming Pearlman was tapping large amounts of money from them. Those cases were settled out of court, and the terms of the agreements went undisclosed.
The impresario was later accused of running one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history. Prosecutors released a 47-page plea agreement in which Pearlman admitted guilt of money laundering, conspiracy and making false statements during a bankruptcy hearing.
Before his sentence was announced, Pearlman requested that he be permitted to develop bands while behind bars. Prosecutors objected, and he was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.
According to Reuters, “U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp gave Pearlman the chance to cut his prison time by offering a one-month reprieve for every $1 million in cash he helps a bankruptcy trustee recover for his victims.”