Michael Dippolito, the Boynton Beach man who gained national fame when his wife was accused of plotting to have him killed, wants to keep his finances secret, for fear he may be charged with a crime.
Dippolito, a felon, has spent more than a year battling a paternity suit accusing him of neglecting to pay child support for a son from a previous relationship. And although DNA has confirmed the 12-year-old child is his, Dippolito isn't eager to pony up the cash.
He has refused to comply with court orders to produce his financial records, instead invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. He would not answer a
standard court form asking for his employment history, a list of property he owns, and his bank and credit card account info.
Why would opening his finances to public scrutiny incriminate Dippolito? He "has not had criminal charges brought against him," Marc Cohen, attorney for the child's mother, points out in court documents.
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That may be true, but Dippolito could still have plenty to hide. He's currently on probation for telemarketing fraud and owes about $191,000 in restitution to his victims. One victim, who invested $20,000 in Dippolito's foreign currency scam, receives restitution checks for only $8 or $10 a month.
Dippolito has told Boynton Beach police that in early 2009, he was struggling to pay off his restitution and tried to borrow money from his wife, Dalia. Yet he also said he gave Dalia $240,000 and bought a mortgage-free, $225,000 townhouse and a Porsche.
It's unclear how Michael had the cash to make such purchases. The money trail suggests he may have been transferring tens of thousands of dollars to Dalia so he would look like a pauper and not have to pay his restitution. In fact, Dalia told a friend that Michael had all the money he needed to pay off his obligation but was hiding it in a Cayman Islands bank account.
Given Dalia's history of bending the truth, it's tough to know whom to believe. All we know for sure is what Michael's attorney wrote in court documents, explaining why Dippolito could not produce the mandatory financial info. "Documents required to be produced... may tend to incriminate respondent."