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Another thing Maria didn't know was how Michael entertained himself when she left town. Michael Dippolito told police that in October 2008, while she was on a trip, he called an escort to his Boca office.
The woman who arrived at his door was Dalia Mohammed.
Dippolito began dating Dalia immediately, and although she was mainly living in California, she soon moved back to Florida and into his house in Boca. "Pretty much we were on a fast-track relationship, getting along great," he said in a police interview.
This new love interest came as a shock to his wife. Maria Dippolito says she returned from her out-of-town trip and Michael announced, "I'm moving out. I want a divorce."
At first, he didn't mention Dalia. Then one day, Maria saw him buying flowers. She confronted him, and he admitted he was seeing another woman. "He just said he met her online; she lived in a different state," Maria says. "The story was a little sketchy."
By the end of January 2009, Maria and Michael were divorced, and he married Dalia five days later at the Palm Beach County courthouse in Delray Beach. They moved into a $225,000 townhouse he'd just bought — paid in full, no mortgage — in Boynton Beach. Dalia had recently begun working at the Aventura-based Beachfront Realty, and she sold him the house.
Soon, the newlyweds settled into a routine. Dalia spent her days at tanning and hair salons, shopping in Bal Harbour, and working out at LA Fitness. Michael ran his marketing business from their house, which was equipped with security cameras at the front and back doors. They also had two dogs, Bella and Linguine. Every morning, Dalia would wake in time to give Michael a steroid injection before he went to the gym at 5:30 a.m., she told her friend the informant. Michael was a former crack addict and a recovering alcoholic, she said. His routines were important to keep him on track.
But the informant told police Dalia was irritated by Michael's routines. "She can't stand that, and she basically wants to get rid of him."
Once, while Michael was recovering from liposuction to get rid of his love handles, Dalia texted a friend to say she was sitting at home, bored and resentful. "That's pretty gay," her friend said of Michael's surgery.
"I know," Dalia replied. "He's so superficial, and the sad thing is someone like him will never be happy."
"I think his psycho trailer trash mom is coming today," she added. "She can never just be here for two or three hrs like normal people. She stays for ten hr." Then: "Last week she was with us for five hrs and no intention of leaving. It sucked. I finally said something to him and she still wouldn't get the hint. She left pissy."
While tensions between the newlyweds mounted, their financial activities became increasingly bizarre.
Two weeks into their marriage, Michael began transferring $100,000 to Dalia, he told police. Bank records confirm he wrote at least 12 separate checks from his Mad Media account to Dalia's maiden name. He wrote the $6,000 and $7,000 checks at random times — every few days in February and March, sometimes twice a day.
In interviews with police, Michael said he gave the money to Dalia because he wanted to pay off his entire $191,000 restitution in one lump sum so he could get off probation. Dalia offered to pay half the amount. He thought that when he gave her $100,000, she would add it to $91,000 of her own and pay the entire debt. But she kept the money instead.
Michael's explanation of how that happened is convoluted, and the numbers he gave the police didn't add up correctly. He said that in total, "I lost $240,000 with this girl. That's unexplainable money."
He also signed the deed of his $225,000 townhouse over to Dalia, telling the police "his wife was to be the sole owner of his home until he would clear his financial restitution to his victims."
Based on the money trail, one might guess Michael was transferring cash and assets to his wife so he would look like a pauper and not have to pay restitution. Indeed, that's the spin Dalia put on the story when she told her informant friend about it.
She said Michael had all the money he needed to pay off his obligation but he was hiding it in a Cayman Islands bank account. "She wanted to basically wipe him out of that money," the informant told police. When cops searched Dalia's safe-deposit box, they found a document that seemed to confirm an account in her name at Cayman National Bank.
According to the Broward State Attorney's Office, Michael Dippolito's probation officer, David Banks, is supposed to monitor Dippolito's monthly income to ensure he's paying his restitution. Neither he, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Corrections, nor Michael Dippolito's lawyers would comment for this story.
But finance wasn't the only strange aspect of the Dippolito marriage.
Last March, Michael and Dalia were vacationing at the Ritz-Carlton in Manalapan (Dalia picked up the $1,172 tab). When they checked out of the hotel, they found police officers standing by Michael's Chevy Tahoe. The cops told Dippolito they had received an anonymous tip that he was dealing drugs. They searched the car and didn't find anything, so they let him go.