File Under Crazy
Sometimes, some days, there is a story or two that makes you scratch your head and ask yourself what sort of vortex exists in the world that allows for, say, an engineering professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago to buddy up with the man responsible for unleashing horrifically bland pop music sung by practically neutered, grown men onto the collective conscious.
According to today's Trib, Joseph Chow invested all of this bank into Lou Pearlman's Florida-based companies, which includes not only his music ventures, but also his charter airplane company, Transcontinental Airlines. Chow died in 2004, and his family says that the debt owed to them by Pearlman, including interest, is somewhere around the $15 million mark. Pearlman—as any rabid watcher of VH-1 Behind The Music knows—is the creepy, stumpy dude who also once managed 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. Chicagoist isn't likely to trust anything this guy says as a result, but he claims that Chow signed a waiver agreeing not to collect on the debts in a manner that would problems for Pearlman's businesses.
Chow's family says the signature is forged, Pearlman says Chow's wife was in the room when Chow signed the document. The family says Pearlman has taken advantage of the friendship between the two—who apparently were so close that they used to travel together—and Pearlman is calling them "vultures." Pearlman claims that Chow only invested in the airline portion of his businesses—not the music venture—and therefore has no claim to the booty that accumulated as a result of Justin Timberlake's booty shaking.
Rich people problems don't typically fascinate Chicagoist but this one takes the cake. For as much as we're completely tweaked out by that Pearlman dude, we want to know this: How does a college professor have $9 million smackaroos to invest with the boy-band promoter and his myriad businesses? Someone explain this to us because it's tearing up our hearts.