Lou Pearlman, the man who created the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in federal prison for engineering a decades-long scam that bilked thousands of investors out of their life savings.
It was the maximum sentence the boy band mogul could receive for allegedly swindling about $300 million from investors and banks since the early 1980s.
He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of conspiracy and single counts of money laundering and presenting a false claim in bankruptcy court.
In Orlando, Fla., U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp noted that many victims were Pearlman's relatives and friends and retirees in their 70s or 80s who lost everything.
"The sympathy factor just doesn't run very high with the court," Sharp said.