Former top associate of International scam artist Lou Pearlman sentenced to prison
Robert Fischetti sentenced to three years in prison for his role in Ponzi scheme.
By Amy Pavuk, Orlando Sentinel
12:04 PM EST, January 5, 2011
A former top associate of Lou Pearlman was sentenced to three years in federal prison Wednesday for his role in the disgraced music mogul's scheme that bilked investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Robert Fischetti pleaded guilty in Orlando federal court in June to one count of conspiracy and three counts of failure to file an income-tax return.
Fischetti played key roles in many of the companies Pearlman set up.
Pearlman, who founded the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, is serving a 25-year sentence for orchestrating one of the largest Ponzi schemes in the state.
He pleaded guilty to running a $300 million investment scam in connection with the sale of worthless stock and retirement-account investments in Trans Continental Airlines and Transcontinental Airlines Travel Services.
In Fischetti's case, federal prosecutors said Trans Continental Airlines offered people the chance to invest in what it called an Employee Investment Savings Account program.
But that program was nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, using newer investor money to pay off earlier contributors.
Fischetti managed the investor database for the EISA program from offices in Orlando at times from 1989 to 2007, his plea agreement said.
Fischetti sent statements falsely showing investors' money was earning interest.
More than 1,500 people invested over $200 million in the EISA program, the agreement said.
Fischetti also failed to file personal tax returns for three tax years while earning nearly $1 million.
Amy Pavuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5735.
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