LANTANA — The former live-in girlfriend of an elderly Lantana multi-millionaire and her secret lover are facing trial in Palm Beach County on charges they stole $10 million worth of his erotic art!
Stacy Cliett, 41, is charged with grand larceny of the first degree and is out on $15,000-bond in connection with the disappearance of 200 paintings and 70 sculptures owned by her ex-boyfriend, shipping magnate Nicholas Zoullas, 79.
Cliett’s paperwork at the courthouse shows still listed her address at Zoullas’ mansion at 825 North Atlantic Drive, a $2.3 million-property in the swanky Lake Shores neighborhood of Hypoluxo Island.
Her new beau, Todd Stephens, 51, of West Palm Beach, also was charged with first degree grand larceny in September and, like Cliett, is out on $15,000-bond.
Both pleaded not guilty.
Former model Cliett told Lantana cops she and Stephens took the art after she understood Zoullas wanted to break up with her and her “ride was over.”
When Zoullas noticed the erotic art was missing, he hired a private detective to track down Cliett and her latest squeeze, Stephens, and handed the information to Lantana police. Cops tracked down the 270 pieces to a local warehouse and returned them to Zoullas.
DailyMail.com reports Cliett and Stephens were arrested at a gas station with some of the paintings in the back of the Lexus that Zoullas had bought her.
Zoullas, 79, is a prominent member of the local Greek community and a father-of-three adult children who spends part of the year in his $4.8 million four-bedroom home in Southampton, Long Island.
Zoullas apparently met Cliett while he was estranged from his 60-year-old wife. Cliett’s online modeling profile claims she was discovered at age 16 while she modeled for Christian Dior on Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue.
But while Zoullas’ background includes a stint at the Harvard Law School, local court records show Cliett’s includes a string of criminal convictions for theft as well as at least one eviction.
Stephens was recently charged with money laundering in a separate federal case and has been one of a dozen suspects charged by Palm Beach County prosecutors with the alleged $175 million prescription cream fraud.
The missing art included Le Jardin d’Amour by French cubist André Lhote, estimated to be worth $150,000 as well as Leon Bazile Perrault A Water Nymph, a painting from 1898. There was also a piece by Swiss sculptor Luciano Castelli.
Strangely, the haul included a “life-like” mannequin of a nude woman with human hair, according to police papers.
At first, Cliett and Stephens did provide an excuse: They claimed they moved the art because of a “mold issue.” inside the Hypoluxo Island home had been taken by Cliett.
Cops then organized surveillance of the warehouse and saw Stephens there loading some of the art into the Lexus.