More coverage of the Lou Pearlman saga

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Letters to the judge about Lou Pearlman (PDF)

Ponzi schemers typically have charm in common

They're smart and charming. They have an aura of success about them and exude respectability. Above all, they instill confidence.

THE LAST RESORT COMMENTARY

Greg Dawson: Not-so-handy Jim Metts won't be prowling aisles

I can't speak for the water, but it's safe for consumers to go in Lowe's and Home Depot again. Unless, that is, Jim Metts has no more respect for the courts than he does for his victims.

Despite foreclosure, Church Street Station still in business

Church Street Station hit another pothole in its latest attempt at a comeback as a lender who helped developer Cameron Kuhn buy the dining-and-entertainment complex out of bankruptcy filed this week to foreclose on the downtown Orlando property.

What you think

A loaded word

Regarding Wednesday's headline, "Jailed Lou Pearlman Snitches on Suspected Cop Killer." I am dismayed that the Sentinel would use the term "snitch" to describe the efforts of one prisoner to assist police in prosecuting another. The term carries the derogatory sense of the Sicilian concepts of omerta, or "code of silence," or the common phrase "stool pigeon."

Sentinel exclusive

Jailed Lou Pearlman snitches on suspected cop killer

While federal investigators were building the $300 million fraud case against Lou Pearlman, he was conducting an investigation of his own.

Regional Report Cops & courts

Lou Pearlman heads to federal prison

Former music mogul Lou Pearlman was moved out of the Orange County Jail early Tuesday so he could begin serving his 25-year federal prison term, jail officials said. Pearlman was picked up at 6:19 a.m. by U.S. marshals and taken to an unknown federal prison facility, Orange County spokesman Allen Moore said. Marshals said they will not comment about Pearlman's movements for security reasons. U.S. Bureau of Prisons officials said they will not release Pearlman's location until he is received at a federal prison facility. Pearlman, founder of the bands Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, fraud and money-laundering charges and agreed to assist prosecutors, FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents on the investigation. He was sentenced in June to 25 years in prison.

Lou Pearlman off to prison: Will he pay interest to victims?

Admitted Orlando con man Lou Pearlman was ordered off to federal prison Wednesday after a judge delayed ruling on whether he should pay interest on the $300 million in restitution he owes to investors.

Feds want $424 million restitution from Lou Pearlman

Federal prosecutors have put a price tag on the damage done by Orlando investment promoter Lou Pearlman and his con schemes: $424.4 million.

OPINION Reader Views

House of cards

Mike Thomas again explains the insurance mess that our politicians in Tallahassee are getting us citizens of Florida into. I only wished that all of the people would become mad and demand change in the gross mismanagement and deception that is being sold to us as a safe program to help homeowners.

Lou Pearlman falls from life of glitz to 25-year sentence

Facing 25 years in prison for his financial crimes, boy-band mogul Lou Pearlman now knows what he has to do:

THE VICTIMS HAVE THEIR SAY

The Reynoldses

Pearlman's sentencing still on for Wednesday, judge says

A federal judge has refused to delay the sentencing of Orlando music executive Lou Pearlman, scheduled for Wednesday.

Without plea agreements, the courts would be clogged

Donald Trump has nothing on the criminal court system.

Pearlman mansion to go into foreclosure

The waterfront mansion of jailed music executive Lou Pearlman, which failed to generate a high-enough bid at auction Saturday to cover the mortgage, will go through foreclosure, a bankruptcy-trustee lawyer said Thursday.

Real estate moves to front of auction block

Auctions have been popular for years as a way to unload used motor vehicles, equipment and farm goods. But in recent years, real estate has surged to the top as the industry's fastest-growing sector.

OPINION Reader Views

Pearlman lessons

Why is it that our government officials would allow themselves to be fooled by someone like Lou Pearlman?

Former boy-band mogul Lou Pearlman says he will cooperate in fraud case

Orlando music mogul Lou Pearlman has agreed to help federal prosecutors, investigators and bankruptcy trustees track down assets, cooperate against unnamed co-conspirators and pay back $200 million to investors and banks, according to a plea agreement filed in the case Tuesday.

SENTINEL EXCLUSIVE

Pearlman faces new federal charges as he changes plea to guilty

Former boy-band promoter Lou Pearlman sold worthless stock, used a bogus accounting firm, fictitious overseas financiers and even the signature of a dead corporate officer to bilk investors and banks out of more than $300 million, federal prosecutors charged Monday.

Pearlman's fraud trial delayed at least 1 month

The scheduled March criminal trial of Orlando music mogul Lou Pearlman formally was delayed Wednesday for at least a month by a federal judge in Orlando.

Pearlman could face more charges

A federal prosecutor leading the fraud probe of jailed Orlando music executive Lou Pearlman said Thursday that he will file additional charges, making a scheduled March trial unlikely.

Judge tells Lou Pearlman's lawyer to release records

An Orlando-area lawyer must produce records and answer questions under oath about business dealings of jailed music executive Lou Pearlman or face "severe sanctions," a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled Monday.

CENTRAL FLORIDA The Area In Brief

Pearlman's home back on market

The $7.1 million sale of jailed Orlando music promoter Lou Pearlman's lakefront home has collapsed, forcing it to be put back on the market, a bankruptcy trustee attorney said Thursday.

Trustee: Pearlman lawyer needs to help or go to jail

There's a missing laptop computer, a roadside meeting to exchange documents and a lawyer threatened with jail if she doesn't reveal the details.

$7.1M sale of Pearlman home approved

A bankruptcy judge Thursday approved the $7.1 million sale of jailed Orlando music promoter Lou Pearlman's lakefront home and a $335,000 condominium in Atlantic City, N.J., the latest assets to be sold off for creditors.

Church Street Station bouncing back

The first of several new businesses at Church Street Station debuts next week when Dolce Nightclub replaces the pink-themed, socialite-studded Club Paris.

Singer's tune: Free me from Pearlman

Singer Aaron Carter wants his jailed and bankrupt manager, Lou Pearlman, to live up to his management agreement or get out.

Everything sells at latest Pearlman auction

The second auction of Lou Pearlman's goods grossed $280,000 as bidders gobbled up the jailed boy-band impresario's recording equipment, memorabilia, furnishings, clothing and guns.

Man plans to take death of Pearlman to the bank

Windermere investor Julian Benscher is betting on the death of Lou Pearlman.

Buy, buy, buy encore: It's 2nd sale of Pearlman possessions

Another, more personal auction of Lou Pearlman's possessions is set to take place later this month as a bankruptcy trustee continues liquidating possessions of the fallen boy-band mogul.

Prosecutor: Pearlman fled crumbling empire

Former music mogul Lou Pearlman used someone else's credit card to finance his overseas trips and stay on the run from authorities for the past six months, a prosecutor said Wednesday in Orlando.

Pearlman now in federal court

Pearlman now in federal court

The former impresario behind superstar boy bands 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys was led into the federal courthouse this morning where he'll face bank-fraud charges.

In Custody

Lou Pearlman back in O-Town to face the music

Lou Pearlman, the former boy-band impresario, arrived in Orlando late this afternoon in the last leg of a globetrotting trip to face bank fraud charges.

Court asks bank, hotel about Pearlman

The court-appointed trustee in Lou Pearlman's bankruptcies took another step Thursday in trying to decipher the former boy-band manager's finances.

$100M in fraud indictments for Lou Pearlman

Former boy-band mogul Lou Pearlman was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Orlando on charges that he schemed to bilk banks out of more than $100 million.

Pearlman's return steeped in irony

A stripped-down Boeing 727-200 sits idle on an Orlando International Airport runway, a reminder of the days when Lou Pearlman's empire was flying high.

Perks for Pearlman gone as he rides 'jail cell on air'

Lou Pearlman was en route home from Guam on Monday after a U.S. Marshals Service jet picked him up during the weekend.

No party in jail for Lou Pearlman

Three square meals in the jail lunchroom, an hour in the TV room, and the rest of the day spent alone in his 7-by-8-foot cell.

Familiar face to take reins of saloon

Developer Cameron Kuhn closed Monday on his $34 million acquisition of Church Street Station and confirmed that Bob Snow, founder of the once-popular entertainment complex in downtown Orlando, will play a part in the property's revival.

Pearlman convinces judge he's down, out

Lou Pearlman, the one-time multimillionaire music mogul known for his lavish lifestyle, convinced a judge Monday that he is broke and needs a public defender to help him fight bank-fraud charges.

Lou Pearlman faces judge in Guam, will be there until Monday

The arrest of boy-band mogul Lou Pearlman halfway around the world Thursday ended speculation about his whereabouts and set the wandering music producer on course to face the legal and financial wreckage of his empire in Florida.

Blogosphere in sync after Pearlman's capture

"Sweet, sweet karma. And with that, ex-boybanders around the world are having a really good day."

Pearlman auction items no longer missing

No need to change the locks: The missing key to the city of Orlando has been recovered.

Pearlman auction may net $200,000

The Lou Pearlman bankruptcy auction Tuesday generated about $227,000 in sales and could clear $200,000 after expenses, a court-appointed official said.

THE PEARLMAN AUCTION

Hundreds turn out to buy Lou Pearlman's possessions

For scores of bidders, Tuesday's bankruptcy auction of former music mogul Lou Pearlman's estate offered bargains -- furniture, artwork and Chevy vans -- that might resell for tidy profits on eBay or other places.

Own a bit of Lou Pearlman lore

Was your daughter an 'N Sync fan? Could you use some new office supplies? How about 80,000 microphones? What about a human-sized "Felix the Cat" statue?

Pearlman may be starting a defense

Wherever he is, boy-band promoter Lou Pearlman appears to be paying attention to the legal proceedings moving against him in Orlando in his absence, and he may be asking a judge to protect his rights.

Pearlman case draws crowd

More than 100 frustrated Lou Pearlman investors flooded a bankruptcy court meeting Monday, only to hear suggestions of their worst fears: If there is any money left from Pearlman's enterprises, it might not be much, it might not be easy to find or obtain, and it could almost all wind up going to banks.

Pearlman associates dropped from suit

Three of Lou Pearlman's top associates have been dropped from the state lawsuit that accuses Pearlman of running a fraudulent investment program.

Company: $250,000 is ours, not Pearlman's

Administrators overseeing several of Lou Pearlman's companies got good news Thursday: $250,000 that they had feared was being wire transferred to Germany has been returned to a U.S. bank.

SENTINEL EXCLUSIVE

Is Pearlman seeking cash?

Orlando entrepreneur Lou Pearlman may be trying to tap into $250,000 that authorities think was recently transferred from one of his companies to a German bank, according to court documents.

Developer Cameron Kuhn buys Church Street Station

Developer Cameron Kuhn, who bought the former Church Street Station for $34 million Thursday, vowed to revive the long-distressed entertainment complex in the heart of downtown Orlando.

Pearlman's talent-scout company sold

a talent-scout company that sparked hundreds of consumer complaints earlier this decade -- was sold Friday from Lou Pearlman's former business empire to a company with California money and Canadian management.

Trustee to oversee Pearlman finances

Lawyers painted a picture of fraud, dishonesty and mismanagement surrounding Lou Pearlman's Trans Continental Airlines in order to persuade a bankruptcy judge Wednesday to let an interim trustee take over the financial affairs of Pearlman and his flagship company.

Pearlman creditors seek Chapter 11 trustee

A bankruptcy court will consider today whether to appoint a Chapter 11 trustee over the financial affairs of Lou Pearlman and Trans Continental Airlines, a move that could improve the position of creditors who don't have collateral to back up their loans.

SENTINEL EXCLUSIVE

Paper trail to Pearlman's money comes up cold

The accounting firm of Cohen & Siegel documented the finances that helped convince people that Lou Pearlman's companies had money. But as state and federal investigators pick through the remains of Pearlman's corporate empire, Cohen & Siegel's balance sheets are raising more questions than they answer.

Church Street bids to start at $34M

A bankruptcy-court judge has set a minimum $34 million bid for anyone hoping to buy the former Church Street Station entertainment complex in downtown Orlando

Pearlman lawsuit also names governor

A new lawsuit filed against Lou Pearlman and his Orlando-based investment business names Gov. Charlie Crist as a defendant, charging that Florida did not do enough to investigate the boy-band promoter while Crist was the state's attorney general.

Kuhn withdraws Church Street bid

Developer Cameron Kuhn is dropping his $40 million offer to buy the former Church Street Station complex in downtown Orlando, his attorney said Monday.

THIS JUST IN

Task force isn't hearing the siren call

A task force looking into a countywide tornado-warning system heard three more sirens last week -- a mechanical one and two electronic ones, which have voice capabilities. The group hasn't made any official recommendations, but many on the task force appear to be leaning against the sirens. Some of their questions: Would enough people inside buildings be able to hear the siren; would the sirens be susceptible to damage from lightning or storm winds; and are there enough serious tornadoes in Central Florida to justify the expense. The group, set to make a report to the County Commission on March 13, will meet again Thursday. Meanwhile on Monday, the Oviedo City Council will talk about whether to buy a siren system for the city.

4 creditors hit Pearlman with bankruptcy petition

In his continued absence from Central Florida, Lou Pearlman is being dragged toward personal bankruptcy by three banks and a venture-capital company that claim he owes them a combined $48 million.

Pearlman loses control of 10 more businesses

A judge ordered 10 more of Lou Pearlman's companies put under the control of a court-appointed administrator on Tuesday to protect any remaining assets.

Judge OKs loan for Church Street

The businesses at Church Street Station will be able to keep the lights on and the patrons coming in, after a bankruptcy judge approved financing Monday for the complex that, until recently, was controlled by Orlando businessman Lou Pearlman.

Pearlman hit with new suit in Orlando court

A New York dentist and a Palm Harbor small businessman sued Lou Pearlman on Friday with what they want to become a class-action suit for up to 1,400 investors in Pearlman's Trans Continental Airlines.

Pearlman, staff knew 'end was near'

In the final days of Lou Pearlman's empire, he and his associates transferred millions of dollars into personal bank accounts, stripped the company of big-screen TVs and crystal vases, and shredded and carted away boxes of papers, according to a new court document obtained by the Sentinel on Thursday night.

Pearlman bails out as empire crumbles

With Church Street Station in bankruptcy, Lou Pearlman's once-blooming Orlando business empire appeared all but abandoned Wednesday.

Feds raid Pearlman offices, mansion

An army of FBI agents and other law-enforcement officials swarmed boy-band impresario Lou Pearlman's palatial Windermere-area estate Thursday while also searching his Church Street offices for evidence in a criminal investigation of his collapsing empire.

LOU PEARLMAN'S CRUMBLING EMPIRE

Church Street Station poised for resurgence

Church Street Station, once one of the state's biggest tourist attractions, has been a shadow of its former self for more than a decade now, fading away under a succession of owners.

LOU PEARLMAN'S CRUMBLING EMPIRE SECOND IN A 3-PART SERIES

Will investors need to sell homes to survive?

From her colonial home near Mount Washington, Beverly Silva can sit on the porch and watch nature unfold on a 6-acre expanse in snowy New Hampshire.

SENTINEL SPECIAL REPORT: LOU PEARLMAN'S CRUMBLING EMPIRE

Red flags spanned more than a decade

A federal investigator suspected as early as 1995 that Lou Pearlman's investor program might not be as secure as the mogul claimed -- and asked Florida officials to investigate.

Pearlman empire's legal woes add up

Just days after taking over at Lou Pearlman's Trans Continental Airlines, a court-appointed receiver has found investor claims totaling more than $317 million, a figure that could place the fraud investigation among the biggest in Florida history.

Pearlman securities case widens

On Dec. 20, Michael Connelly wired $1 million to a checking account controlled by boy-band promoter Lou Pearlman and his companies in Orlando.

OTHER VIEWS MY WORD

Lou Pearlman: Focus on revitalization

In recent days, much attention has been given in the media, particularly the Orlando Sentinel, to the current financial challenges faced by one of my companies, Trans Continental Airlines. Due to the sensitive legal nature of the lawsuits and an ongoing investigation by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, commenting on these through the media is not appropriate. However, my executive team and I are working hard to resolve the issues.

Pearlman to lose control of 3 entities

A judge on Friday ordered three of Lou Pearlman's companies in downtown Orlando placed under the control of a court-appointed receiver.

Pearlman hit with another huge suit

Boy-band mogul Lou Pearlman was hit with yet another multimillion-dollar lawsuit Thursday as questions and litigation mount over his Orlando-based business empire.

Pearlman's money woes won't cost Orlando $1.5 million, officials say

Orlando officials say taxpayers won't be left holding the bag for a $1.5 million loan to Lou Pearlman, the beleaguered developer of Church Street Station.

SENTINEL EXCLUSIVE

Pearlman's money woes follow him downtown

A series of multimillion-dollar lawsuits against boy-band entrepreneur Louis J. Pearlman has reached the front doorstep of his Trans Continental empire, once seen as the spark that could revitalize downtown Orlando's Church Street Station.

Pearlman's Gulfstream jet is seized by deputies

Lou Pearlman was running a charter flight service, ferrying clients such as the boy band New Kids on the Block, when he realized he was "in the wrong business."

Pearlman fights latest loan-default allegations

Orlando music entrepreneur Lou Pearlman is battling with yet another bank over allegations of loan defaults.

Pearlman runs into more financial trouble

Orlando music entrepreneur Lou Pearlman is battling with yet another bank over allegations of loan defaults.

Lou Pearlman faces lawsuit over bank loan

American Bank of St. Paul is suing Orlando businessman Lou Pearlman for failing to pay back a $28.5 million loan relating to an attempt to buy a British television show.

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