Former Tribune executive pleads guilty to diverting funds

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

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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