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Boyband mastermind Lou Pearlman speaks from behind bars

The disgraced Svengali behind pop groups 'N Sync and Backstreet Boys has broken his silence from behind bars, almost five years after he was incarcerated for masterminding a half-billion-dollar scam.

Lou Pearlman agreed to speak to a journalist from The Hollywood Reporter from the low-security Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Texarkana in Texas, where he is serving a 25-year sentence, and revealed he has a plan to pay back his 1,700 victims, but only if he could only conduct business from jail.

The boyband guru claims he still has the contacts and the savvy to create a new act and lead them to the top of the charts.

He says, "If I was given a chance to put another band together, that would have paid everybody back. But I never had that opportunity, and that's what was very upsetting.

"I know if I was out there, we'd give One Direction a run for their money."

The 59 year old issued a formal request to be permitted to develop bands from behind bars when he was sentenced in 2008, and asked for a telephone and an Internet connection that he could use two days a week. The motion was denied by Judge G. Kendall Sharp.

Meanwhile, Pearlman tells the publication he is now taking blood thinner medication after suffering a stroke behind bars in 2010, and he walks around the prison as part of a health kick that has helped him lose 75 pounds (34 kilograms).

He adds, "If I would have kept on going with my lovely steaks and onion rings and fries, I'd probably be dead right now from a heart attack. It (stroke) was definitely a wake-up call."

He also reveals he hasn't turned his back on his boyband days - he is the man behind the prison's choir and he has helped organize the group's Christmas concert for the past two years.

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