Following the Dippolito Money
If you want to be confused, try following Michael Dippolito's explanation for why he gave his wife, Dalia, tens of thousands of dollars in the months before she allegedly tried to have him killed.
Michael told Boynton Beach police that he owed $191,000 in restitution to victims of the foreign currency investment scam he ran several years ago. Earlier this year, he was trying to pay off his debt in one lump sum, so that he could get off probation for the crime.
Here's where it gets weird: Dalia offered to pay half the debt, Michael told the
police. But instead of just taking the money from her, Michael immediately began paying her $100,000 in small increments, according to the police report.
Bank records obtained by the police show that Michael wrote 11 separate checks. They were written from his marketing company's account -- Mad Media LLC -- and made out to Dalia Mohammed, his wife's maiden name.
Michael wrote the checks at strange times -- not every two weeks, to coincide with a pay period -- but every few days, sometimes twice a day. And they only total $72,000. Here's the breakdown:
Feb. 17: $6,000
March 1: $7,000
March 1: $6,000
March 2: $7,000
March 2: $7,000
March 4: $6,000
March 4: $7,000
March 5: $6,000
Once enough money accumulated in her bank account, Dalia was supposed to wire the entire $191,000 to his attorney.But Michael told police that when the time came, Dalia wouldn't hand over the money she had promised to lend him.
Instead, she demanded that her husband give her $90,000 in cash first. So he withdrew the cash from his own bank account. In return, she handed him a cashier's check that he thought was for $191,000, but turned out to be for just $191.
Head spinning yet?
There are a number of things about this that don't make sense. For instance, why did Michael have $90,000 in cash in his bank account? He'd just paid his wife $72,000, yet he had another $90,000 lying around. If he had so much dough, why did he need to borrow the money in the first place? Couldn't he have paid the full restitution on his own?
Instead, he set up an elaborate transfer of money. Why?
The police reports offer no explanation.But here's a theory: Michael Dippolito's probation officer was supposed to be monitoring his income every month. The more money he had in the bank, the more restitution he could afford to pay his victims. But if he gave the money to his wife instead, his bank account would still make him look like a pauper. Especially if his wife ended up stealing the money.
One more bizarre twist: When Boynton Beach police officers searched Dalia Dippolito's safe deposit box, they found a bank payment request in the amount of $191,000 dated March 3, 2009. The client's name was D. Mohammed, and the beneficiary's name was Mike Entin, Michael Dippolito's attorney.
Entin told police the money was never wired to his account. Michael Dippolito said he had never seen the document before.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.