A month after his arrest for embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from his clients amid a separate bar association investigation, Raleigh attorney Nicholas Andrew Stratas Jr. is being held in a New Hanover County jail on charges of larceny of a motor vehicle.
According to Sgt. Jerry Brewer of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Stratas took a Mercedes from an auto lot for a test drive on Friday afternoon and never returned the car. He was arrested Saturday at 1127 Military Cutoff Road in Wilmington.
Stratas remains behind bars with no bond and faces two failure to appear in court charges on two unrelated misdemeanors.
Last month, Stratas, 54, was charged with embezzlement and forgery as prosecutors accused him of stealing $30,000 from clients. Meanwhile, the North Carolina State Bar had filed a complaint accusing him of moving $200,000 of his clients’ money into his firm’s account. He posted $20,000 bail on June 15.
Personal finances also indicated problems, with records showing Stratus at the time owed $2.2 million on his house on Cowper Drive in Raleigh’s Hayes Barton neighborhood. Also, the bank has foreclosed on his Glenwood Avenue law office, valued at $700,000.
An attorney since 1984, Stratas is the son of Nicholas Stratas Sr., a prominent Raleigh psychiatrist, former state mental health official and former chair of the state Board of Medical Examiners.