Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman, who launched the Backstreet Boys and ’N Sync, was sentenced yesterday in Orlando, Fla., to 25 years in prison for swindling investors and major U.S. banks out of more than $300 million US.

For years, Pearlman enticed banks and individuals to invest millions of dollars in two companies that existed only on paper and won the confidence of investors with strong but fake financial statements created by a fictitious accounting firm, according to his plea agreement.

“The sympathy factor doesn’t run high with the court,” U.S. Judge G. Kendall Sharp said.