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Former Tribune exec gets 2 years in $264K scam

Stephanie Pater

Stephanie Pater

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Updated: October 26, 2013 6:35AM

A former Tribune Co. real estate director received two years in prison Tuesday for bilking her employer out of $264,000.

Stephanie Pater, 39, was sentenced for carrying out a scam in which she paid herself commissions that should have gone to Tribune. She also was ordered to pay restitution.

Randall Samborn, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Pater was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan. In June, Pater pleaded guilty to mail fraud in the case.

She was ordered to begin her sentence Jan. 14, 2014, Samborn said. Pater now lives in Atlanta.

She was appointed real estate director of Tribune in 2008 by then-owner Sam Zell. In 2010, she formed her own company, Catalyst Group LLC, which the media giant hired when it outsourced real estate management, including the operations of its landmark Tribune Tower at 435 N. Michigan.

Pater then created a phony contract, falsely stating that Catalyst was entitled to commissions that should have been paid to Tribune by another company.

A Tribune spokesman could not be reached for comment.

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