Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Feds indict Pearlman agent for fraud

TAMPA — An insurance agent who helped imprisoned music mogul Lou Pearlman raise money has been indicted on fraud charges accusing him of selling up to $32 million in unregistered securities in the Tampa Bay area, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Wednesday.

Steven B. Rodd, 45, of Tampa, and William P. Kress targeted 250 people in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties as they solicited supposed investments in Pearlman's company, Trans Continental Airlines, federal prosecutors say.

Prosecutors, who said the investment was a fraud, said the pair targeted the elderly. And investors were not told that Rodd had been barred by the state of Florida from selling securities in 1998 and again in 2003, the indictment says.

Rodd was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to sell unregistered securities and mail fraud. If convicted, he faces 25 years in prison. The government also is seeking the seizure of $936,500 for illegal commissions Rodd received in the scheme, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Kress pleaded guilty to fraud charges last August and is awaiting sentencing.

Pearlman was sentenced in 2008 to 25 years in prison after he admitted stealing $300 million from investors and banks in a scheme that operated for more than two decades.

Investors were devastated when Pearlman's empire collapsed in January 2007. He fled the country, and investors gradually discovered their money was gone.

But Pearlman was captured in Indonesia after a German tourist saw him at a resort and contacted the St. Petersburg Times, which passed the information to the FBI.

Rodd's attorney did not return a message Wednesday seeking comment.

William R. Levesque can be reached at or (813) 226-3432.

Feds indict Pearlman agent for fraud 02/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter


    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle