The ex-wife of actor Eddie Murphy lost a $7 million chunk of her divorce settlement after some not-so-funny business with a brazen con man, federal prosecutors said.
Authorities didn’t name Nicole Murphy in court paperwork unsealed Tuesday, but a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles last year outs her as the victim of Troy David Stratos' alleged fraud.
Stratos was arrested in Southern California early Tuesday and charged with 11 counts of wire and mail fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of obstruction of justice.
The indictment claims Stratos persuaded his victim to invest the proceeds of her big-money divorce overseas, saying that’s where the Hollywood fortune would earn a higher rate of return.
Prosecutors say Stratos never invested the money but simply used it to underwrite his flashy lifestyle.
Stratos also told his victim he knew members of Middle Eastern royal families and could sell them her home in Granite Bay, Calif., prosecutors said.
He convinced her to lease luxury Rolls-Royce and BMW automobiles to make the property more attractive, saying that a potential buyer would purchase the high-end cars along with the house in a package deal, according to the federal indictment.
Pictured: Nicole Murphy attends the 'Water For Elephants' premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on April 17, 2011 in New York City.
(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)