The man who created the Backstreet Boys and ’N Sync agreed to be returned to Florida from Guam to face a federal bank fraud charge, officials said Monday.
It wasn’t immediately clear when Lou Pearlman would leave the U.S. territory of Guam. Deputy U.S. Marshal Jimmy Disbrow said Pearlman would be transported from Guam within 10 days — probably to Hawaii or California. From there, Disbrow said, it could take two or three weeks before Pearlman arrives in Florida.
“It’s really up in the air right now,” Disbrow said.
Pearlman was arrested in Indonesia last week on one count of bank fraud. He was expelled from the resort island of Bali after the FBI contacted authorities there, transferred to U.S. custody and flown to Guam for a hearing.
He is accused of fraudulently securing nearly $20 million in bank loans with documents from a made-up accounting firm. The criminal complaint against him was filed in March and unsealed last week after authorities located him.
Assets have been liquidated in two bankruptcy cases against Pearlman and his companies, and the entertainment mogul has for months ignored court actions against him.
He appeared before District Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood on Monday and requested temporary liberty before being returned to Florida.
Pearlman complained of less-than-favorable conditions at the Federal Detention Facility and cited numerous ailments, including high blood pressure and a bad back.
The request was denied after prosecutors successfully argued that the former music executive was a flight risk.
“He has the means to travel, your honor,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Marivic David, adding that Pearlman was found in possession of passport-size photos and residency information from Panama.
David Smith, the FBI’s assistant legal attache in Jakarta, testified against freeing Pearlman. He noted that Pearlman was booked under the alias “Incognito Johnson” at his hotel in Bali.
Pearlman argued that using an alias was “normal in the industry” to stave off paparazzi and other media. He likened himself to Tom Cruise and Jennifer Lopez, saying they would never use their real names when booking a hotel.
Florida investigators separately allege Pearlman defrauded more than 1,000 individual investors out of more than $315 million in a long-running Ponzi scheme. Several banks say he collectively owes them more than $120 million, according to bankruptcy court documents.