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Last Updated: Friday, 7 March 2008, 10:37 GMT
Boy band mogul admits $300m fraud
Lou Pearlman
Lou Pearlman will help investigators prosecute his accomplices
Lou Pearlman, the music mogul behind boy bands 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, has pleaded guilty to a $300m (152m) fraud scheme.

In a plea agreement, the music mogul admitted running scams that defrauded investors and major banks for more than 20 years.

Mr Pearlman originally entered a not guilty plea last year, but reversed it in a Florida court on Thursday.

The charges carry a maximum of 25 years in prison and a $1m (506,000) fine.

Mr Pearlman, 53, has plead guilty to two charges of conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding.

Plea agreement

According to the 47-page plea agreement, Mr Pearlman admitted enticing investors and banks to invest millions of dollars in two companies that "existed only on paper".

Backstreet Boys
The Backstreet Boys were one of Lou Pearlman's acts

Prosecutors counted at least 250 individual victims who lost $200m (101m), plus 10 financial institutions that lost $100m (50.6m).

As part of the deal, Mr Pearlman has pledged to help investigators prosecute his accomplices and agreed to help authorities recoup millions of dollars for his victims. He has also agreed to forfeit four cars, including a 2004 Rolls Royce Phantom and two bank cheques totalling $97,000 (49,000).

Mr Pearlman has been in an Orlando jail since being returned to Florida in July 2007.

He earned widespread fame in the 1990s for creating successful pop sensations.

The Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync eventually sued him, claiming he was siphoning large amounts of money from them. The cases were later settled, but the terms were not disclosed.

SEE ALSO
How Disney's TV gang has grown up
20 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
Boy band guru investigated
17 Feb 03 |  Entertainment



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