What would you do with $100 million? For members of the Scripps family, heirs to a media fortune, the answer was really quite simple. Spend it.
And spend they did, in ways few of us could imagine.
Luxury cruises around the world. Family outings — to strip clubs. Melissa Scripps, part of the fourth generation of the Scripps family, purchased Queen Elizabeth II's coronation chair and Queen Victoria's nightgown. And she passed along her free-spending ways to her only son, Michael, who developed a taste for war memorabilia and guns, and married a stripper.
"There was never a problem with the spending when there was money to spend," said Michael's attorney, Michael Dezsi.
The tab for the 1999 strip club outing alone — which included Melissa, Michael, Melissa's brother and a friend — came to $90,000, according to court testimony. In an interview with CNBC's "American Greed," a former girlfriend of Michael's recalled receiving gifts of diamonds and pearls — when she was 14.
But when the money began to run out, it triggered a family feud — chronicled in the latest episode of "American Greed" — that saw mother and son turn on each other, landed one family member in prison, and left a name once associated with entrepreneurship and philanthropy forever tarnished by scandal.