How did he make and break big boy bands with rogue deals?


What happened with Lou Pearlman? Lou Pearlman was a renowned American record producer. He was the originator of most of the 1990s boy groups like Backstreet Boys, but marred his successful career when it was discovered he was leading one of the biggest and most extensive Ponzi schemes of the world. the history of the United States.

Lou Perlman during Otown. Photo: Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic, Inc
Source: Getty Images

How did he make and break big boy bands with rogue deals? Louis Pearlman will be remembered both for the bad and the good, but especially for the bad. Here is everything there is to know about his life, including his criminal offenses.

Lou Pearlman’s Profile Summary

  • Last name and first name: Louis Jay Pearlman
  • Other names: Big Poppa, Incognito Johnson
  • Date of Birth: June 19, 1954
  • Place of birth: Flushing, New York, United States
  • Zodiac sign: Gemini
  • Parents: Hy Pearlman and Reenie Pearlman
  • Brothers and sisters: 0
  • Cousin: Art Garfunkel
  • Nationality: American
  • Religion: High Jew
  • Schools attended: Queens College
  • Occupation: Record producer, manager, author, entrepreneur, trusted artist, impresario
  • active: From 1993 to 2006
  • Books: Groups, Brands and Billions: My Top 10 Rules for Turning Any Business Platinum
  • Famous for: His Ponzi scheme
  • Criminal charges): conspiracy, money laundering, false statements
  • Criminal status: Deceased
  • Deceased: August 19, 2016
  • Age at time of death: 62 years
  • Resting place: New cemetery of Montefiore

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Lou Pearlman biography

Lou pearlman
American record producer and manager Lou Pearlman poses for a portrait circa 2002 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Ron Davis / Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Big Poppa was born and raised in New York City in the Mitchell Gardens apartments across from Flushing Airport. He was the only child of his parents. Her father operated a dry cleaning business while her mother was a coffee helper at school.

The rise and fall of Lou Pearlman

Big Poppa led a group as a teenager, but then focused on aviation. At the end of the 1970s, he launched a business based on his college project, with 1 helicopter. He learned more about airships from German businessman Theodor Wüllenkemper.

Lou started Airship Enterprises Ltd, which leased an airship from Jordache before owning one. From the funds raised, Big Poppa built an airship, which unfortunately crashed. This led to Pearlman winning $ 2.5 million in damages.

Big Poppa founded Airship International using the settlement money. He took the public company to raise $ 3 million for an airship. He falsely claimed a partnership with Wüllenkemper and leased the airship from McDonald’s.

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In July 1991, Lou moved Airship International to Orlando, Florida, signing MetLife and SeaWorld as clients. However, one of the clients left and three planes crashed, causing the shares to drop by $ 6 each (he had paid commissions to record a steady rise in stock prices while the company had little revenue) to 3. cents per share.

Lou Pearlman’s groups

Following the achievements of New Kids on the Block, Incognito Johnson launched Trans Continental Records to emulate their boy band business model. The label signed Backstreet Boys from a $ 3 million talent search as a lead band.

Lou Pearlman and Britney Spears

Other groups associated with Pearlman include NSYNC, O-Town, Lou Pearlman LFO, Take 5, Natural, US5. Some of Lou Pearlman’s famous girl groups, which he co-managed with Justin Timberlake’s mom. Britney Spears was a short-term member of Innosense.

Besides the label, Lou owned a large entertainment complex in Orlando, which housed the Trans Continental and O-Town studios. Additionally, in 2002 Lou bought Options Talent Group, which became a photo factory scam.

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In 2006, it was revealed that Lou was the prime contractor for the longest-running Ponzi scheme in American history. He had defrauded investors of over $ 1 billion by tricking people and banks into investing in his shell businesses that only existed on paper before the success of the boy bands, namely Trans Continental Airlines Inc., TransCon Records and Continental International Inc. When the groups were successful, he transformed them and their fame into a platform to further expand his Ponzi scheme.

He had used forged documents from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, AIG and Lloyd’s of London to lure people into his employee investment savings account program.

What happened to Lou Pearlman?

Lou pearlman
Lou Pearlman arrives at the George C. Young Federal Courthouse in downtown Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, July 11, 2007. Photo: Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel / Tribune News Service via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

On June 14, 2007, Lou was arrested in Indonesia after fleeing from officials. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 27, 2007 and has been charged with 3 counts of bank fraud, 1 count of mail fraud and 1 of wire fraud.

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On May 21, 2008, during bankruptcy proceedings, Judge G. Kendall Sharp sentenced Lou to 25 years in prison (to be released on March 24, 2029) for money laundering, conspiracy and misrepresentation.

How did Lou Pearlman die?

In 2010, Incognito Johnson suffered a stroke in prison, which resulted in a line infection of the heart valve diagnosis. He underwent surgery to replace the heart valve but died on August 19, 2016, before another operation.

Lou Pearlman’s cause of death is recorded as cardiac arrest. Lou Pearlman’s funeral took place ten days later on August 29, 2016. Where is Lou Pearlman now? He rests in the family burial place in the New Montefiore cemetery.

Lou pearlman
Lou Pearlman poses with boy band O-Town, Jacob Underwood, Ashley Parker Angel, Erik Estrada, Trevor Penick and Dan Miller seen in New York, circa 2001. Photo: Mark Weiss / WireImage
Source: Getty Images

Lou Pearlman’s documentary

You can get more details about Big Poppa in the documentary, The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story. This is a 1h 39m film directed by Aaron Kunkel and released on March 13, 2019. It explores Lou’s profession and heritage.

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Lou Pearlman’s Net Worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Incognito Johnson’s peak net worth was $ 300 million. Where was Lou Pearlman’s house? Lou Pearlman’s home was in Windermere, Florida. The waterfront mansion was a 12,000 square foot estate, including a separate guesthouse and office space. It was once offered at an auction for $ 3.75 million in 2008, but a trustee deemed the offer too low.

Lou Pearlman left over $ 300 million in debt. Although he did not serve his sentence, he paid for his crimes. His life is a lesson that you get served what you deserve; therefore, find honest ways to make a living to enjoy the success that comes with it.

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