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Former executive accused of bilking Tribune out of $260,000 skips hearing

A former Tribune Co. executive accused of bilking the Chicago-based business out of $260,000 failed to show up in federal court for her arraignment Thursday.

Stephanie Pater, the company’s 39-year-old former real estate director, was due to enter a plea to fraud charges before Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan at 10 a.m.

But neither a federal defender representing her nor Assistant U.S. Attorney Kruti Trivedi could tell the judge where Pater was. Der-Yeghiayan reset the hearing for January 10 in the hopes that Pater, who lives out of state, will show up then.

Pater has not made any public statements since her indictment two weeks ago. Prosecutors allege that after she left the Tribune in 2010 and set up her own business to handle the media giant’s real estate interests, she stole commissions that should have been paid to the Tribune.

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