Lou Pearlman sentenced to 25 years in prison
Lou Pearlman, the mastermind of the boy-band onslaught that included the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced in Orlando Wednesday to 25 years in prison for scamming investors and banks out of something like $300 million, the AP reports. Color us not surprised.
U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp threw the book at Pearlman, giving him the maximum sentence allowable after he pleaded guilty in March to two counts of conspiracy and single counts of money laundering and presenting a false claim in bankruptcy court. Sharp was torqued that many of the scam's victims were Pearlman's own relatives, friends and retirees who lost their life savings.
"The sympathy factor just doesn't run very high with the court," Sharp said. He added that he would reduce the sentence by one month for every $1 million Pearlman returned to investors. Too bad Lou's broke as a joke.
"I want to say clearly that there's no pot of gold out there," defense attorney Fletcher Peacock said. No, not when Lou's house and all his stuff have hit the auction block.
"Over the past nine months since my arrest, I've come to realize the harm that's been done," Pearlman said in a short courtroom statement. "I'm truly sorry and I apologize for what's happened."
Peacock did add that Lou had returned about $103 million already, but it'll be hard to come up with the rest from the wages offered by the prison laundry.