Heir to Scripps fortune embezzles $3.6M of family funds

    A federal jury in Philadelphia convicted an heir to the Scripps media fortune on Friday for embezzling $3.6 million from members of his family.

    According to a statement released by the Justice Department, Michael Scripps, 36, was convicted of seven counts of wire fraud in the indictment against him.

    Details revealed during the week-and-a-half long trial showed that from Nov. 2001 through Oct. 2006 Scripps persuaded his mother and uncle to transfer millions into a Merril Lynch Trust Co. and brokerage firm.

    Jury testimony revealed that Scripps used the ill-gotten gains to lead a playboy lifestyle, purchasing expensive jewelry including Tiffany earrings, a diamond ring, a Cartier necklace, a car for his girlfriend, four properties in New Orleans and also paid for luxury travel across the U.S.

     

     

    Richard Gleeson, the then Merril Lynch financial advisor based in Media, Pa., assisted Scripps by using fraudulent authorizations to illegally transfer money into his accounts.

    Gleeson currently awaits sentencing, having pled guilty to wire fraud for his participation.

    The Associated Press reports that Gleeson and Scripps were friends.

    Sentencing is scheduled for July, 2013 when Scripps will face a potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of wire fraud and may be ordered to pay restitution.

    The E.W. Scripps family owns newspapers and television stations, and it is the name behind Scripps College and the Scripps Oceanography Institution.

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