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  • Mitch Toll / Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

    Constantine Pappadopoulos, left, and his wife Katherine leave Sacramento County jail upon posting bail after being charged with conspiracy in connection with an arson fire that destroyed their multimillion dollar Arden Oaks home. The family subsequently has had other legal problems, including the arrest of son George on charges of writing bad checks.

  • Lezlie Sterling / Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

    The structure of the burned home once belonging to Katherine Pappadopoulos and her developer husband Constantine "Koko" Pappadopoulos as it looked on May 29, 2001.

  • JAY MATHER / Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

    The fire that destroyed Constantine Pappadopoulos' home in the Arden Oaks area was been classified as arson.

Pappadopoulos son arrested on bad-check charges

Published: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 - 11:22 pm

The Pappadopoulos family rap sheet has grown by 28 felony counts with a filing this week against one of the sons in a scheme that prosecutors say cost local businesses $161,000 and counting.

If he’s convicted, George Demetri Pappadopoulos, 40, would face a state prison term of 46 years, according to Deputy District Attorney Robert Clancey.

Pappadopoulos was supposed to appear in Sacramento Superior Court on Friday on a motion by his lawyer, Phil Cozens, to have his bail reduced from $500,000. The bail hearing was canceled when the jailed Pappadopolous chose not to appear.

His family first came to criminal prominence when his parents conspired in 1992 to torch their palatial home at 1821 Maple Glen Drive in Arden Oaks for the insurance money.

Constantine and Katherine Pappadopoulos were convicted on arson-related charges in federal court, but he fled the country for his native Greece before sentencing.

Katherine Pappadopoulos served her term of a little less than eight years. She died in 2008.

Her husband, once a prominent developer in the Sacramento area who built more than 1,300 apartment units in the 1980s, is still alive and confined to Greece, according to George Pappadopoulos’ attorney.

“If he leaves, there’s an Interpol warrant for his arrest,” Cozens said.

According to the complaint, George Pappadopoulos wrote bad checks from May until his Feb. 7 arrest.

He wrote the checks off of a Wells Fargo account in the name of his business, GDP Investments, according to papers filed by the DA’s Office in anticipation of Friday’s canceled bail review hearing.

Pappadopoulos spent thousands at local car dealerships, tire shops, furniture stores, and flooring and carpeting businesses, according to the DA. He spent more than $12,000 at Haggin Oaks Golf Course, according to the documents.

One of his bad checks took care of a $200 tab at the Maple Room on Arden Way, the filings contend.

“We believe that there are many more victims,” Clancey said Friday.

The prosecutors advised people who think they were victimized to call sheriff’s investigators at (916) 874-3000.

Cozens, the defense attorney, said he received reports on the case Friday and couldn’t comment in detail.

George Pappadopoulous’ criminal record includes one felony and three misdemeanor convictions, all since the family home burned down.

In 1992, when he was 19, he was convicted of felony battery on a 14-year-old male. Judge Jerry Bakarich sentenced Pappadopoulos to nine months in county jail and five years probation. The probation was revoked in 1998 and he was sentenced to four years in state prison.

He also received misdemeanor convictions for driving under the influence in 1998 and 2003.

He picked up the third misdemeanor in 2008 for trying to intimidate a witness who had testified against his brother Demetri Chris Pappadopoulos, 39, who was convicted in a 2005 rape case in Alameda County.

According to the DA’s papers, George Pappadopolous told the witness if he testified against his brother at a parole hearing he would have him killed. He was sentenced to 19 days in jail and three years probation, according to Sacramento County online court records.

Brother Demetri was convicted in the rape of an unconscious, inebriated woman in a limousine outside a nightclub in Fremont and was sentenced to eight years in prison. He is now listed on the state attorney general’s “Megan’s Law” website as a registered sex offender living in Roseville.

Call The Bee’s Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141. Follow him on Twitter @andyfurillo.

Read more articles by Andy Furillo

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