The man accused of defrauding Eddie Murphy's ex-wife of at least $7 million has been arrested and charged in an unsealed federal indictment. On Tuesday, December 20, Troy David Stratos made his first appearance in Los Angeles federal court and was indicted on charges of mail fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
According to the federal indictment, Troy acted as Nicole's financial manager and persuaded her to invest around $7 million of her divorce from Eddie overseas with a promise that she would earn a high rate of return. Instead, he transferred the money, which constituted almost half of what Nicole earned in the divorce settlement, into personal accounts.
The indictment also mentioned that Troy lived in Nicole's Granite Bay, California home after saying that he could sell it to members of Middle Eastern royal families. He also told Nicole to lease luxury Rolls-Royce and BMW automobiles to make the property more attractive. He later persuaded the 43-year-old to refinance several of her homes.
Court papers identified the divorcee as "N.M...the ex-wife of E.M." who filed for divorce in August 2005. While court officials refused to confirm that the alleged victim is Nicole Murphy, three law enforcement sources told The Associated Press that it is indeed her. Nicole herself filed for divorce from Eddie in August 2005.
Nicole filed a lawsuit against Troy in Los Angeles federal court in 2010 and refiled the lawsuit in May 2011 in Florida state court. Meanwhile, Troy has been held in jail pending a bail hearing scheduled for Wednesday, December 21. Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, said the man has agreed to be returned to Sacramento to face the charges.
The mail fraud charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, while the money laundering and obstruction charges carry 10-year maximum sentences.