Police arrest Menlo Park man, 67, in stock scam


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

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 Miller later allegedly brokered the purchase of discounted Apple stock.

The victim caught on after trying to cash a $2,500 check from 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."

Miller was on probation for a 2007 conviction on fraud and grand theft when Menlo Park police arrested him on Tuesday afternoon 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.

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

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

The district attorney's office, who 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," Soares noted.

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

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

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Like this comment
Posted by more details please
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm

How about some more details about how this scam works? Did the victim think he was buying stolen property or something? Something fishy about not wanting to buy $30,000 worth of stock via a legitimate stock broker.

Like this comment
Posted by cv
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of another community
on Sep 23, 2010 at 11:10 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by Steve c
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Guilty or not, one thing is certain. Once he was convicted of a felony, he was lynched career-wise, regardless of the knowledge, skills, and abilities he possesses. He couldn't make a living any other way so turned to the only career available to him, a criminal one. It is the way of the world these days. One strike, you're out.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 23, 2010 at 9:20 pm

And she had just met him at a party? We all need to check with friends and legitimate business people before trying to get something for nothing. Yet this seems to happen every day.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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