Chicago Sun-Times

Stephanie Pater pleaded guilty Wednesday to cheating Tribune Co. of $264,000 in commissions, Kim Janssen reports.

The Tribune’s former real estate director was hired by then-Tribune owner Sam Zell in 2008. According to a profile published soon after in Crain’s Chicago Business, she impressed the notoriously foul-mouthed Zell with a salty approach that included using swear words in her job interview.

By contrast, she appeared meek and gaunt Wednesday morning when she stood before Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan in federal court to plead guilty to mail fraud.

Pater missed several court dates earlier this year, prompting Der-Yeghiayan to issue two arrest warrants for her. She "faces a maximum of 20 years behind bars, but under federal sentencing guidelines is far more likely to get between two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half years behind in prison for the scam," Janssen writes.

Previously: Second arrest warrant issued for ex-Tribune Co. executive Stephanie Pater