Lou Pearlman–the man who helped launch the careers of ‘NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys–is missing. The FBI is trying to track down the 53-year-old Trans Continental Records founder, whose Orlando-based business empire is the target of a massive criminal investigation. And they couldn’t find him yesterday, even after raiding his home (which he shares with a former member of one of his lesser-known boy bands) and business offices:
In serving the search warrants, the FBI also served notice that it was taking charge in the rapidly expanding probe of Pearlman’s troubled enterprises, which range from boy bands to a charter airline to downtown development.
They raided the same offices that were taken more than two weeks earlier by Orange Circuit Court Judge Renee Roche after state investigators claimed that Pearlman’s Trans Continental Airlines had defrauded more than 1,000 investors.
There are now 16 suits pending against Pearlman, seeking a total of $134 million. His alleged transgressions are hard to encapsulate–the Orlando Sentinel has an entire Pearlman archive–but one of the most pressing accusations is that he was running an ambitious Ponzi scheme to bilk investors. Considering the scope of the investigation, we’re sure Pearlman will show up soon; in fact, we’re guessing you can find him right now at some undisclosed Disney nightclub, where he’s eating fistfuls of Mars bars and asking the waiters if they can hit a mid-range falsetto.
Feds raid Pearlman offices, mansion [Orlandosentinel.com]