Aaron Carter sues Lou Pearlman for ''racketeering.'' Nick's little bro is the latest artist to sue the pop Svengali

By Brian Hiatt
Updated June 26, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Tween favorite singer Aaron Carter doesn’t just want candy — he wants his royalties. The 14-year-old pop moppet filed a lawsuit this week accusing former manager Lou Pearlman of failing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars he’s owed, according to court papers. The suit ups the ante by citing Pearlman’s ”fraudulent” contracts with ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys (which includes Aaron’s brother Nick) in an effort to prove that Pearlman is involved in ”a pattern of criminal activity” that makes him a racketeer. If a jury agrees, Pearlman’s potential penalties could be tripled, according to the suit.

A spokesperson for Pearlman’s label, Trans Continental, told the St. Petersburg Times that the label doesn’t owe Carter any money, but declined to comment on the rest of the lawsuit. ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys each filed and then settled similar suits against Pearlman, minus the racketeering charges. He was a pivotal force in the early years of both groups, and subsequently assembled O-Town, as chronicled on ABC’s ”Making the Band.” Pearlman and O-Town managed to part ways without anyone resorting to a lawsuit. Yet.