From US District Court file
SACRAMENTO, CA - A federal judge has ordered the FBI to seize a $50,000 antique French grand piano allegedly bought with money stolen from Eddie Murphy's ex-wife, Nicole.
According to an affidavit filed with the U.S. District Court in Sacramento, the FBI believes the Gaveau concert grand piano was purchased from a Canadian dealer in June, 2010, by money skimmed from an $8 million trust fund established for Nicole Murphy with proceeds from her divorce from the actor and comedian.
Troy Stratos, 47, has been indicted on charges he embezzled at least $7 million from Nicole Murphy and conned a financial manager in Pennsylvania out of more than $11 million.
Stratos is being held without bail in the Sacramento County Jail awaiting trial.
The piano has been sitting in a rented space at a Public Storage facility in El Segundo since at least February, 2012, according to the FBI.
The serial number, 44830, indicates the instrument was manufactured in the early 20th century.
The FBI says that prior to shipping the piano to the storage facility, Stratos had it sent to a well-known Northern California film actor and director who was considering buying it.
The actor is identified only by the initials C. E. and the FBI says he never followed through on the purchase.
According to an online biography, Carmel's most famous resident, Clint Eastwood, is an accomplished pianist and plays a grand piano at his restaurant.
by George Warren, firstname.lastname@example.org