Almanac

News - December 8, 2010

Menlo Park man pleads no contest to fraud

Described by police as a "lifelong con man," Roger Steven Miller, 67, of Menlo Park, pleaded no contest Dec. 2 to felony check fraud and grand theft charges.

Mr. Miller was on probation for a 2007 conviction on fraud and grand theft when police arrested him on Sept. 21 in a Safeway parking lot for selling thousands of dollars in non-existent Apple stock.

A resident of Menlo Park, he and his 59-year-old Menlo Park victim met at a mutual friend's party, according to police, and he later brokered the purchase of 404 shares of "discounted" Apple stock for $26,000, conveniently paid via cashier's check.

But when the stock certificates never arrived, the victim got suspicious. Mr. Miller wrote a refund check on a closed Union Bank account, and then police got involved, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

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

Judge Lisa Novak sentenced him to two years and eight months in state prison for the latest crime and ordered him to make restitution to the victim.

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