A 45-year-old man was arrested in Los Angeles today after he allegedly defrauded a Granite Bay woman out of more than $7 million in divorce proceeds, authorities said.
Troy Stratos is charged with 11 counts of wire and mail fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of obstruction of justice, a news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner states.
Wagner's office says Stratos convinced the woman to execute a revocable trust with him in Fair Oaks into which she placed cash from her divorce and houses. He promised to invest the money overseas and earn a high rate in return, but he diverted "substantial sums of money" for his own use, the news release states.
He also told the woman he knew Middle Eastern royal families who would buy her Granite Bay home and suggested that she lease luxury cars to include in the package to make the deal more appealing, the release states. Instead, Stratos lived in the home, used the cars and never sold the home to a royal family.
The release says Stratos convinced the woman to refinance several homes she owned to pull out equity after much of the initial cash assets had been used by Stratos. He told the woman the equity would cover expenses while her assets were invested overseas, but no investments were made and he used some of the equity to pay for his own expense, the release states.
Authorities also allege that Stratos told his bookkeeper to withhold some documents requested of the bookkeeper in a grand jury subpoena in February 2007.
Stratos was scheduled to appear in court this afternoon. The Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted in the case.