Reported by Liku Zelleke
About five years ago Troy Stratos (real name Troy Stafford) was arrested after it was alleged he had defrauded Nicole Murphy, the ex-wife of actor and comedian Eddie Murphy, out of $7 million dollars. Now, much to her relief, she can finally see the professional con-artist put on trial for his offences.
Opening about the big hit she took out of her $15 million divorce settlement from Eddie, she said she hoped this “really bad chapter” in her life would come to an end as Stratos finally gets what was coming to him.
“Hopefully with his day in court,” she said, “justice will prevail and Troy Stratos will never be able to take advantage of someone’s trust ever again.”
Prosecutors say that Murphy knew Stratos since her teenage years and she believed him when he said he knew some members of Middle Eastern royalties and could thus help her sell her Granite Bay, California home to them. He also offered to help with investing her money in lucrative oil contracts. To sweeten the deal, he even made her lease luxury cars saying it would make her property more attractive.
But it was all a ploy: there were never any royals and neither was there a deal of any sorts.
The self-proclaimed entrepreneur and entertainment industry insider also allegedly convinced Murphy to invest her divorce settlement money in overseas trusts where he promised she would get high returns. She complied and gave him full access to $11 million – which he later falsely claimed he had invested in Facebook stock – as well as her personal finances, her real estate and jewelry.
Stratos, 50, instead took the loot and used it to fund his own extravagant lifestyle and even audaciously paying for Murphy’s expenses while they took a trip across Europe together. Of course, he claimed he was paying when in fact he was using her own money which he had partially deposited in a bank account he had opened in Florida and under his own name.
The trial will start on September 12 and Stratos stands charged with three counts of mail fraud, 12 counts of wire fraud, four counts of money laundering and one count of obstruction of justice.