A former Merrill Lynch broker was sentenced to more than a year in prison for his part in the $3.6 million scheme to defraud the Scripps Media family, the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey announced.
Richard Gleeson, 37, of Media, Pa., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia yesterday to a year and a day in prison. He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud for his participation in the scheme and testified at the Scripps trial.
Michael Scripps, 36, of Detroit was the defendant in the family trial. He was also sentenced in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia yesterday, to nine years in prison for embezzling $3.6 million from members of his family to fund his lavish lifestyle, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said. He was convicted in April of seven counts of wire fraud.
According to the U.S. Attorney, from November 2001 through October 2006, Scripps persuaded his uncle and mother to transfer millions of dollars in trust funds to the Merrill Lynch Trust Co. and brokerage firm. With the assistance of Gleeson, Scripps used fraudulent authorizations to transfer his uncle’s and mother’s money to his own account at Merrill Lynch, resulting in $2.9 million in losses. Scripps also fraudulently transferred $727,500 from the refinancing of the victims’ Michigan home to another bank account belonging to Scripps.
The jury heard testimony that Scripps used some of the ill-gotten gains to lead a playboy lifestyle, including purchasing expensive jewelry, a car for his girlfriend, four properties in New Orleans and luxury travel.
In addition to the prison term, Scripps was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $3,634,019 in restitution. Gleeson also was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release. The charges against both men were originally filed in New Jersey.