Make us your home page

Lou Pearlman's last-ditch, big money world tour

Lou Pearlman lived large, and the 2007 junket that kept him out of the law's reach for five months was no exception. He traveled thousands of miles and spent most of his time holed up in luxury resorts.

"The American Express bills were astronomical," FBI agent Scott Skinner said. He said Pearlman used credit cards belonging to two friends, Michael Johnson and John Regna, then scrambled to get money to them when the bills came due.

"He sent e-mails to people begging for money," Skinner said.

And he never stopped scheming.

Pearlman tried to raise $1-million by selling one of his companies' interest in Trans Con Mobile LLC, a cellular wireless company in Israel. He flew to Hong Kong to do the deal with an Israeli buyer, but only one of the buyer's installment payments, for $350,000, got through. Pearlman's creditors got wind of the deal and persuaded a bankruptcy judge to freeze a $250,000 payment. Since then, bankruptcy trustee Soneet Kapila has brokered his own deal with the buyer.

Pearlman also was still trying to get mileage out of a phony German bank, German Invest und Finanzberatung GmbH. "He was working on a German Savings Bank seal and logo when he was caught," Skinner said.

Pearlman's longest side trip was a cross-Atlantic venture to check out his prospects for Panamanian citizenship. He may have hoped the country would provide shelter from creditors and U.S. law enforcement. Apparently his bank account wasn't fat enough to merit a welcome mat.

Pearlman traveled under his own passport, but used the unusual alias "Incognito Johnson" when he registered at his hotel in Bali. The U.S. Marshals Service provided the trip home. When he returned to Orlando, he'd made a complete trip around the globe.

Lou Pearlman's last-ditch, big money world tour 07/12/08 [Last modified: Saturday, July 12, 2008 10:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus


    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.

  3. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park


    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  4. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers


    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  5. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]