Former ‘Survivor’ Contestant Sentenced To Prison On Child Porn Charges

LANSING (WWJ) – Former “Survivor” reality show contestant Michael Skupin will be going to jail on child pornography charges.

Oakland County Judge Wendy Potts exceeded guidelines on Tuesday and sentenced Skupin to one to four years in prison following his conviction of four counts of possession of child sexually abusive materials in November.

“Your own lengthy statement regarding your criminal activity was disturbing, and it shows a lack of remorse or acceptance of responsibility,” Potts said.

The judge sentenced Skupin to four years probation on a larceny charge, in which Skupin set up a ponzi scheme and took money from investors.

Skupin, 54, apologized before receiving his sentence, but it wasn’t enough to sway the judge.

“I never, ever said who, what, when, where, why these pictures were on there or viewed, I just maintained that I didn’t do it. I wasn’t pointing the finger at anybody, there was hundreds of people that use these computers,” he said. “I have 11 children that I’m raising and four of them are at home minors and four of them are in college. I have about $1,000 a month obligation toward child support and there’s so much fallout that would result in me going away. … I would just ask that in order to maintain the quality of my children’s lives, there isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do that you guys ask me to do. I just ask for the mercy of the court.”

Skupin, who must register as a sex offender upon his release, was also ordered to pay restitution of $31,800 for his financial crimes.

An investigation began into Skupin earlier this year after victims from his alleged Ponzi scheme contacted a local news reporter. Investigators say Skupin recruited investors and friends to take part in his “gifting scheme” called Pay It Forward. 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.

In 2001, Skupin had to be evacuated from the “Survivor II: The Australian Outback” after falling into a campfire, but he returned for “Survivor: Philippines” in 2012.

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