Aaron Carter tripped up by IRS tax lien
Carter has been trying to repair his bad boy image in recent months, including adding a new management team. Carter's current manager, Johnny Wright, told ET News, "It is unfortunate that while Aaron was a minor, his finances were grossly mismanaged by his previous team which has lead to the current situation of which he was unaware of until today. Aaron is working with a new team to take appropriate actions towards speedy resolution of the matter and looks forward to putting this behind him and moving forward with the next stage of his music career."
It's an easy out to blame "bad management" for financial distress (perhaps taking a cue from Nicholas Cage's playbook) but Carter may actually have a case. Carter's previous team included former manager, Lou Pearlman, who was largely responsible for the creation of boy bands 'NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys (big brother Nick Carter's former band). Carter filed suit against Pearlman twice. In 2002, Carter sued Pearlman for allegedly failing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties on Carter's 1998 album. Carter eventually won a second lawsuit against Pearlman and his label TransContinental Records in 2007, which allowed him to be released from a recording contract that Carter signed while a minor. The following year, Pearlman pleaded guilty to conspiracy, money laundering and bank fraud charges and is now in federal prison.
Carter's other role models haven't been so great either. In December 2003, Carter filed for legal emancipation from his mother, Jane Carter, after alleging she took more $100,000 from his bank account without authorization. He implied on a 20/20 interview that the missing funds were much higher, perhaps millions. Carter said about his mother's reported misappropriation of funds: "I worked hard for months -- 10, 11 hours a day, not including school and press appearances -- and I come home and owe money!" Carter eventually resolved his differences with his mother, though she no longer participates in his professional life.
It's worth noting, however, that 2003, the same year that Carter filed suit, is the primary year at issue with respect to Carter's money woes. The lien for Carter's 2003 tax bill alone is just under $1 million.
Despite all of the bad press, former Dancing With the Stars partner Karina Smirnoff says that Carter is handling it well. Noting his age at the time of the tax bills, she added, "I don't see why he can be held responsible. He was a baby when all that... happened."