Lou Pearlman, the music producer and manager who founded boybands including the Backstreet Boys and Nsync has died in prison aged 62. Pearlman had been serving a 25 year prison sentence, after being convicted of conspiracy, money laundering, and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding in 2008.
According to People, Pearlman died in prison on Friday from an undisclosed illness. Based in Orlando, Florida, Pearlman became one of the most successful music producers of the 1990s, thanks to bands the Backstreet Boys, Nsync, LFO and O-Town.
But in 2000 he was sued by the Backstreet Boys who alleged that their contract was unfair. In court documents, the band claimed they only received $300,000 while Pearlman pocketed millions from the band. NSYNC also later filed suit, as did Aaron Carter in 2002.
In 2006 Pearlman was then accused of defrauding investors of more than $300 million in a Ponzi scheme. According to court documents, he had convinced investors to invest in several shell corporations that did not exist.
In 2008, Pearlman he pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering, conspiracy and fraud and was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. A diabetic, Pearlman suffered a stroke in 2010 and his health was said to have never recovered.
After hearing the news of his passing on Friday, former NSYNC member Lance Bass tweeted: “Word is that #LouPearlman has passed away. He might not have been a stand up businessman, but I wouldn't be doing what I love today without his influence. RIP Lou."