From Jail, Florida’s Ex-Music Kingpin Boasts of his Ponzi Scheme

Our NYC and Miami Entertainment Law Firm advises and represents clients in all legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters, and intellectual property.

The entertainment industry brings with it many issues and concerns. This could lead to serious situations, especially if there is an issue of fraud or deceit between clients, managers and investors. The individuals affected might have a cause of action in these events.

As long as there has been an entertainment industry, there have been stories of sleazy deals, but the story of Florida music impresario Lou Pearlman is in a league of its own. The former chief of Trans Continental Records and the man who gave the world the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync and other boy band stars of the 1990s, is now serving a 25-year jail sentence for defrauding investors of up to $500 million.

In a recent jailhouse interview, Pearlman bragged that his Ponzi scheme was better than that of Wall Street investor Bernie Madoff because Pearlman’s was built on music that had value in itself. Pearlman has been ordered to pay back $300 million to his investors.

In addition to criminal charges, Pearlman has been named as a defendant in numerous lawsuits. Almost every band he managed has sued Pearlman, accusing him of fraud. According to the Hollywood Reporter, all of these cases were either settled out of court or won by the plaintiffs.

Still, Pearlman told the Hollywood Reporter he wants to get back in the business. He has formally requested permission to be allowed to organize new bands while he remains in prison. A judge denied that request.

It must be remembered that there are many honorable businesspeople in the entertainment business. Pearlman’s story is extremely unusual. However, Pearlman’s story can serve as a reminder that is important to have experienced legal help when negotiating contracts in Florida’s entertainment industry.

When disputes turn into litigation, it can be very important to have help and guidance from those who understand the ins and outs of entertainment law and the entertainment business. Gaining advice can also help individuals take appropriate action while also preserving their rights and interests.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “Boy Band Mogul Lou Pearlman’s Prison Interview: My Ponzi Scheme Was Smarter Than Madoff’s,” Seth Abramovitch, Jan. 22, 2014

Barry Chase

Barry Chase, Esq., Senior Partner at ChaseLawyers®, is a distinguished figure in the realm of sports and entertainment law, offering Harvard-level representation that is both cost-sensitive and exceptional. An honors graduate of Yale College (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School, Chase's illustrious career commenced at a prominent Washington, D.C. law firm, now known as Wilmer Hale. Here, he honed his expertise in Communications and First Amendment law, representing media titans such as CBS, the Times-Mirror Company, and Time, Inc. in pivotal Federal Communications Commission (FCC) matters.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The entertainment industry can be a complicated field to navigate. As a trusted leader in Miami entertainment law, ChaseLawyers can help. With over 40 years of experience, Our Miami based lawyers have helped individuals in nearly every area of entertainment law in Miami, including sports, music, film, television, modeling, literature, and more. We understand the unique challenges you face as a creative, and we’re prepared to protect your interests.

As an artist in Miami, you must navigate the intricacies of copyright law, trademarks, contractual agreements, and much more. It is critical you choose a qualified Miami entertainment lawyer with expertise in the nuances of the entertainment world. ChaseLawyers has built a stellar reputation among our clientele for honest, professional representation that produces effective results. We have extensive experience in the unique legal elements you must navigate as an artist, and our attorneys can provide you with indispensable career advice and expertise over the course of your entertainment career.

When you work with ChaseLawyers, you are more than just a client. We care about your well-being and can provide essential advice on the issues you face in the Miami market, such as intellectual property issues, negotiating service agreements, publicity rights, and much more. We also have an extensive network of resources available for our clients to connect with, and those connections can enrich your career in countless ways. Our team understands the complex world of entertainment law and will take care of your legal needs so you can focus on doing what you do best—sharing your talent with the world!

When you’re ready to take the next step in your career, our Miami entertainment lawyers are ready to help you. We are passionate about helping creatives with all of their legal needs, and you won’t find a team more dedicated to your success in all of Miami. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!