Lou Pearlman–the mastermind behind the careers of ‘NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, as well as lesser boy-band lights like Natural–is still on the lam and wanted on Federal charges. The Orlando Sentinel today revealed court documents that indicate Pearlman’s panic about the downward trajectory of his company, Trans Continental Enterprises, began last year:
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.
In the document filed in Orange County Circuit Court, court-appointed receiver Jerry McHale paints a picture of desperation at Pearlman’s Trans Continental companies in the weeks and months before lawsuits and state and federal investigations piled up in late 2006 and early this year.
McHale, whose job is to protect the assets of three Pearlman companies, reports that bank records show that in December, Pearlman moved $5 million through his personal bank account. Two months earlier, Michael Crudele, a top executive at Trans Continental, transferred more than $1.5 million into and out of his personal bank account, McHale reported.
In the court-ordered status report, McHale maintains that other top employees carried off $20,000 in crystal vases, several plasma televisions, a surround-sound system and a conference-room table and chairs, though those have all since been returned.
The past few months, McHale reported, were a time of “chaos as Pearlman and his employees knew that the inevitable end was near.”
The story has a lot more, including the fact that Pearlman’s companies quit paying their trash-collection bills for so long, garbage started to pile up. But what stinks even more than that are two things: one, that his 100 or so companies were run with the same staff and through the same bank accounts, and two, that said businesses’ accounting statements were actually prepared by an accounting firm that didn’t exist. We’re guessing that it’s only a short matter of time before criminal charges are filed against Pearlman, but given the fact that his con-artist ways fooled so many people for so long, perhaps he’s pawned his big-screens and huge vases, which would surely finance his efforts to say “bye, bye, bye” to his old identity.
Pearlman, staff knew ‘end was near’ in 2006 [Orlando Sentinel]
Earlier: Boy-Band Tycoon’s Career Is Starting To ‘Sync Even Further