Pearlman founded Trans Continental Records in the 1990s and the first band he ever signed would go on to be the best-selling boy band of all time: The Backstreet Boys. In fact, Pearlman is widely credited with making boy bands the “it” thing of the 1990s. In addition to the Backstreet Boys, he also signed groups like NSYNC and O-Town.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough success for Pearlman. As the money came rolling in from all these bands, he began using false documents to get investors to put their money in Trans Continental Airlines Inc. and Trans Continental Airlines Services Inc.–companies that didn’t exist.
Pearlman kept this scheme going until 2006, when his master plan was uncovered. Once the gloves were off, several members of bands he had worked with also came forth to claim that he had unlawfully kept most of the money the artists had earned. In the end, hundreds of people ended up filing lawsuits against him.
In 2008, Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in prison for ripping people off at a value of $300 million. He was in the midst of serving his sentence when he passed away last Friday.
Read more to see what Lance Bass and Aaron Carter had to say about Lou Pearlman’s passing: