Lou Pearlman, the man who created the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced Wednesday in Orlando, Fla., to 25 years in federal prison for engineering a decadeslong scam that bilked thousands of investors out of their life savings.

It was the maximum sentence the boy-band mogul could receive for swindling some $300 million from investors and banks since the early 1980s.

He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of conspiracy and single counts of money laundering and presenting a false claim in bankruptcy court.

U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp noted that many victims were Pearlman's relatives, friends and retirees who lost everything.