News - September 29, 2010

'Lifelong con man' arrested in Menlo Park stock scam

by Sandy Brundage

Describing Roger Steven Miller, 67, as a "lifelong con man," police arrested him Sept. 21 for allegedly selling thousands of dollars in non-existent Apple stock.

Mr. Miller, a resident of Menlo Park, and his 59-year-old Menlo Park victim met at a mutual friend's party, said Det. Ed Soares, and he later allegedly brokered the purchase of discounted Apple stock.

The victim caught on after trying to cash a $2,500 check from Mr. Miller, and discovering the bank account was closed, according to the detective. All told, the alleged fraud netted about $30,000.

"This is basically his lifelong career," Det. Soares said. "But there's not much retirement in it."

Mr. Miller was on probation for a 2007 conviction on fraud and grand theft when Menlo Park police arrested him Tuesday, Sept. 21, in a Safeway parking lot.

He's now charged with three counts of felony grand theft, two of passing fake documents, and one count of felony theft with a prior theft conviction, Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. A charge for violating probation should soon join the list.

Mr. Miller's criminal record in San Mateo County spans nearly two decades, and extends to a federal fraud conviction for trying to sell the Golden State Warriors, according to court records.

Mr. Miller, who remains in jail on $150,000 bail, pleaded not guilty in Superior Court on Sept. 22. He's looking at four to five years in prison if convicted, according to Mr. Wagstaffe.

The district attorney's office, which heard about the alleged fraud first, coordinated the month-long investigation with Menlo Park police.

"When you have this big of a scheme, where there's a lot of paper trail, and bank accounts, and documents, you have to cross all the t's and dot all the i's," Det. Soares noted.

Mr. Miller's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.

Police ask anyone with information about Mr. Miller to call 650-330-6360.


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