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Monday, 17 February, 2003, 13:42 GMT
Boy band guru investigated
Backstreet Boys
Backstreet Boys were managed by Lou Pearlman
The man behind the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync is being investigated over complaints that aspiring stars paid $1,500 (900) to feature on his company's website.

Lou Pearlman is being accused by Florida authorities of getting young actors and models to pay upfront fees to appear on his Trans Continental company's website by saying he would also help them to find work.

Assistant attorney general Jackie Dowd said the investigation had turned up "hundreds of potential violations" because nobody had found work through the website.

O-Town
Pearlman put O-Town together for a TV show

Mr Pearlman, who also launched the boyband O-Town on the MTV Making the Band reality TV show, issued a statement saying he had no idea an investigaton had been launched.

Florida law prohibits talent agencies from demanding fees upfront.

But Trans Continental says it is exempt because it is a "scouting" company rather than a talent agency.

Celebrity

The website does warns hopefuls models that "chances of becoming a superstar in this industry are slim" and the company "will not book you directly".

Mr Pearlman was cleared in 2002 of breaking child labour laws in the US over claims he let young children work too long hours.

The mother of two members of a failed boy band had complained he and Trans Continental had violated strict laws in their dealings with band Take 5.

>Mr Pearlman has become something of a celebrity in his own right after the success of Making the Band which created O-Town

But the relationship soured and O-Town split from Mr Pearlman's management company.

And in 1999 he sued the members of 'N Sync after they quit his label.

An out-of-court settlement was reached which allowed the band to keep their name, which Mr Pearlman claimed to own.

See also:

03 Oct 01 | New Media
01 Aug 01 | Showbiz
10 Jul 01 | Showbiz
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