Larger than life image: Troy Stafford. Long list of aliases, aka Troy Stratos, aka Troy David, aka David Stafford, aka David Burton, aka Ken Dennis.
Stratos, real name Troy Stafford, claimed to have introduced Murphy to her superstar husband Eddie – whom she divorced after a 12-year marriage, which produced four daughters and a son.
He nas been known to boast of often connections in the entertainment industry, was a film producer with enough clout to get President Barack Obama to attend an event. Authorities later learned Stratos long list of aliases including Troy David, David Stafford, David Burton and Ken Dennis. Cons he carried out as Ken Dennis have him incacerated in Sacramento County, Calif.
Nicole Murphy, swindled by a high rolling master conman
Confidence trickster Troy Stafford, aka Troy Stratos, pled guity to charges of swindling Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife Nicole out of $10 million
Wednesday, Stratos admitted to swindling $10million out of Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife and pleaded guilty to all 14 charges against him before he was set to go to trial next week.
Troy David Stratos, 50, appeared before US District Judge Troy Nunley on Wednesday and entered guilty pleas to 11 counts of wire and mail fraud, two counts of money laundering, and one count of obstruction of justice.
Stratos had represented himself as a wealthy financial adviser and offered his friend of 34 years, Nicole Murphy to invest a large portion of her $15million divorce settlement with Eddie Murphy in the Middle East, promising a high rate of return, and then cover her expenses under the false premise that she was fully invested.
Nicole and ex, Eddy Murphy
Nicole Murphy, Eddy and three of their five kids
The federal suit alleged that the convicted conman diverted to himself millions of dollars of Murphy’s money that was intended for overseas investment, and that he covered Murphy’s expenses with her own funds.
Murphy’s attempts to try to get her money back having so far failed, she hired private investigator Bill Branscum, a former special agent who worked with the FBI’s organized crime strike force in Miami, to dig into Stratos’ background.
Branscum uncovered fraudster Stratos’ fraud trail from Florida to California to Canada and France.
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The investigation led to a realtor in Maui, Hawaii, who apparently gave Stratos $1.9million for an investment that never happened.
Stratos, it was uncovered, had a pattern of targeting wealthy women that led all the way to Vancouver, Canada, where he swindled one mark out of at $16million, at least. A string of men claimed they were both his lovers and victims of his scams.
Stratos, apparantly used the proceeds of his cons to finance his A-list life style and his huge gambling addiction.
Stafford has known Nicole Murphysince they were kids. It didn’t stop hime from conning her out of most her divorce settlement
For Nicole Murphy’s attorney, James M. Williams, she is having to deal with the fact that Stratos a childhood friend ‘ took a considerable amount of money from her, and between his actions and the actions of the Bank of America for allowing him to do it,have really put Nicole in a bad position.
Williams said ‘She sees the trial as the first of hopefully several opportunities to get some justice.
‘A victory in the criminal justice system against Troy Stratos, I’m sure will be a huge relief for Nicole.
‘But we hope to finish the job with the civil suit by recovering at least some of the millions and millions of dollars he took from her.’
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He added that the civil case is still ongoing but he’s hoping a trial date will be set in the coming weeks.
‘It’s been a long journey but it looks like both the criminal and civil are getting close to an end, an end to Nicole Murphy’s nightmare.’
The trial set for Sept. 12. However, Stratos’ change of plea on Wednesday came 15 months after a federal jury found the hustler guilty of defrauding a Philadelphia investor group out of $11.25 million.
The group thought it was buying pre-IPO Facebook shares from Carlos Slim, with Stratos, under the name of “Ken Davis,” serving as the Mexican billionaire’s agent. But investors never received the shares, and funds wired for their purchase wound up being misspent by Stratos. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 17 for both the Facebook trial, as well as, Wednesday’s guilty plea.
Stratos faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted for the wire and mail fraud charges, and up to 10 years for the money laundering and obstruction of justice charges.
He still faces a federal suit that accuses him of inducing the Venable law firm to participate in the Facebook fraud, and a state claim that alleges he conspired with Bank of America to rip off Murphy.