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25-yr jail for Backstreet founder

Orlando, May 21 (Reuters): Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched Backstreet Boys and ’N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for swindling investors and major US banks out of more than $300 million.

But US district judge G. Kendall Sharp gave Pearlman the chance to cut his prison time by offering a one-month reprieve for every $1 million in cash he helps a bankruptcy trustee recover for his victims.

Theoretically, Pearlman could cancel his entire 300-month sentence by repaying the $300 million debt.

His lawyer, Fletcher Peacock, said in a written plea that 25 years amounted to a “sentence to death in prison” for the 53-year-old impresario who lived a jet-set life of mansions and luxury cars before the fraud scheme collapsed.

In an audacious two-decade scam, Pearlman admitted in his plea agreement to enticing individuals and banks to invest millions of dollars in two companies which existed only on paper.

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