For those of you who don't know who Lou Pearlman is he was a record producer and manager for some of the biggest names in 90s pop like backstreet boys and Nsync. He became infamous for running one of the longest running ponzi schemes in history.
In the beginning Lou formed Airship Enterprises Ltd, but that venture ended in a lawsuit when a blimp Lou leased to Jordache crashed. He then started another company, Airship International. He took the company public to raise three million to buy another blimp, but he did so claiming he partnered with Wüllenkemper. The company was later closed down with only two clients. It later came out that he possibly lied to investors about how much the company was worth.
After Lou saw how much New kids on the Block made and how popular they were he decided to start Trans Continental Records. The labels first artist was the backstreet boys, who were put together during a three million dollar talent search. After the backstreet boys had a lot of success Lou decided to sign Nsync. He signed other artists like LFO and Aaron Carter. Lou had 12 artist in all and he had managers helping him along the way. One of the managers was the mother of Justin Timberlake. A lot of the artists said they were basically making a minimum wage per hour for a 40 hour work week. Lou was taking way more than what was owed to him. Eleven of the artists who were represented by Lou sued him for misrepresentation and fraud. All of the cases were either settled out of court or won by the people suing Lou. Lou did not get any song royalists after the artists sued him. The lawsuit happened during Backstreet Boys' tour and Lou had a cease and desist order on them. It didn't dawn on anybody to have lawyers before things went wrong.
In 2002 Lou bought an online talent company. He kept changing the name of the company but it kept getting bad press. People were saying everything from the company was a scam to questioning the business practices. Hot jobs and monster would stop advertising jobs for Lou's company. The company had a bad rating with the better business bureau and was involved in a lawsuit against people who were bad mouthing the company. One person who was sued by the company turned around and sued Lou. In 2007 the company was sold as a part of Lou's bankruptcy proceedings.
In 2006 investors discovered that Lou had been running a ponzi scheme. He had been enticing people and banks to invest in one of his companies for 20 years. He would use fake bank statements to secure bank loans. In 2007 Lou fled the state and later the country, but was caught later that year and sentenced in 2008. Also in 2007 Lou filed for bankruptcy.
In 2009 Rich Cronin from the band LFO claimed that Lou "wanted to bang everyone," and that whoever slept with him was looked after. Rich claimed Lou would do or say inappropriate things around the artist. When others were asked about the allegations and everyone else said that they never had that experience with Lou. They claimed he was always appropriate with everyone. This may just be Rich being mad at Lou for what he did or maybe everyone else wasn't aware of what was going on.
While in jail Lou suffered a stroke and died. He had surgery to fix a valve before he died.
That's the whole story of Lou or at least the basics. If you like this article share it.