Former Survivor Contestant Pleads Guilty in Ponzi Scheme

PONTIAC, MI – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that Michael Skupin, 54-years-old, of Farmington Hills, pleaded guilty to one count of Larceny by Conversion and agreed to pay $30,000 in restitution to his victims. Michael Skupin

He entered his plea in front of Oakland County 6th Circuit Court Judge Wendy Potts.

An Oakland County jury convicted Skupin on four counts of possession of child sexually abusive materials on Friday, November 18.

“I am pleased to see this case come to a close,” said Schuette. “Today’s plea will bring closure and more importantly restitution to the victims of Mr. Skupin’s financial crimes.”

Skupin, a former contestant on the television reality show Survivor, was charged by Schuette in February 2016 with the counts of financial crimes of Larceny by Conversion and Racketeering as well as Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Materials.

Sentencing will be held on December 27, 2016 at 8:30 am.

An investigation began into Skupin after victims from his alleged Ponzi scheme contacted a local news reporter. It is alleged that Michael Skupin recruited investors and friends to take part in his “gifting scheme” called Pay It Forward. Victims allegedly made cash investments in the scheme. Their money would then cycle through a chart in which participants were eventually paid out of other new investors’ money. The scheme was discovered when eventually there were no new investors signing and most people in the scheme lost all of their money.

Skupin’s laptop was searched in conjunction with the Ponzi scheme investigation. During the search, investigators discovered images of underage children in sexual situations. The images are alleged to belong to Skupin.