Former ‘Survivor’ contestant faces child porn, Ponzi scheme charges

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Michael Skupin, courtesy WJBK

LANSING, Mich. — A former ‘Survivor’ contestant has been charged with being in possession of child pornography, larceny, and racketeering.

The Attorney General’s office said Friday afternoon in a release that Michael Skupin, 54, was charged with six counts of Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Materials, five counts of Larceny by Conversion, and one count of Racketeering in relation to his role in allegedly running and promoting a Ponzi scheme.

The child pornography was found on his computer as part of the Ponzi scheme investigation. Investigators say that they found images of underage children in sexual situations. It is alleged that they belong to him.

Victims of Skupin’s alleged Ponzi scheme stated that he reportedly convinced friends to donate money in a “gifting scheme” called Pay It Forward. Victims would allegedly make $10,000 cash investments that would cycle through a chart in which participants were eventually paid out of other new investors’ money. When there was no more new money entering the pot, the scheme was discovered. Most of the people involved lost all their money.

Skupin is widely known for being a contestant on the TV show “Survivor.” He appeared twice before having to be flown off the island after being burned in a fire, according to WJBK.

He was arraigned Friday on the Ponzi scheme related charges. If convicted, Skupin could face between 4 and 20 years in prison. His next court appearance is scheduled for February 19.

 

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