Dalia Dippolito gained notoriety for her involvement in a murder-for-hire plot that unfolded in Boynton Beach, Florida, in 2009. Born on October 18, 1982, in New York City. Dalia Dippolito was raised by her Egyptian father and Peruvian mother alongside her two siblings. The family later relocated to Boynton Beach. When she was 13 years old, where she completed her high school education in 2000. After graduating, Dippolito pursued a career in real estate, obtaining a license and working in the industry on a part-time basis.
On July 31, a concerned man contacted the Boynton Beach Police Department to report that his friend, referred to as “Delilah,” was planning to kill her husband. The informant had a history with Delilah, describing her as a slender woman with long dark hair, green eyes, and a cosmetically enhanced figure. Their acquaintance began around a decade earlier when Delilah visited one of the man’s unnamed stores in Boca Raton. They developed a connection, although the man clarified that it was more of an intimate friendship rather than dating.
As time passed, the relationship between them diminished, and the man eventually married and terminated his association with Delilah. He later learned that Delilah had become engaged to a wealthy architect and had moved to California. However, the man claimed that Delilah’s motivation in the relationship appeared to be primarily financial. As her fiancé gave her expensive gifts like a $40,000 engagement ring and a new Mercedes before she ultimately left him.
When Delilah’s previous relationship ended, she returned to Florida and married a new man. However, she reconnected with her former fling and started making unusual requests. According to a man familiar with the situation, Delilah asked him if he knew someone who could kill her husband. Delilah’s motivation seemed to stem from her new husband’s money, given that she had already squandered $200,000 of his funds. She was prepared to go to great lengths to obtain more.
Alarmed by her request, the man decided to report the situation to the Boynton Beach Police, believing Delilah was serious about her intentions. The police immediately began working with the informant to orchestrate an elaborate sting operation. They arranged meetings between Delilah, whose real name was revealed to be Dalia Dippolito and her old friend. Furthermore, an undercover police officer disguised himself as a hitman and recorded their conversations. Capturing Dalia expressing her unequivocal desire for her husband’s demise.
Within a few days, the police executed a dramatic arrest of Mrs. Dippolito. They staged a fake crime scene and led her to believe that her husband had been murdered. Even arranging for an officer to break the news of his death, capturing her exaggerated emotional response on camera. However, in a small interrogation room at the police station, officers revealed to Dalia that her husband was, in fact, alive.
At first glance, the case appeared to be a clear-cut situation of a gold-digging wife with a penchant for plastic surgery attempting to kill her spouse. However, further investigation would reveal a more intricate narrative. While Dalia might have been ruthless and conniving, her husband also had a troubling criminal history of his own. Their marriage was built upon a shaky foundation of deceit, scorned lovers, and peculiar financial dealings. Both individuals would face the consequences as their extravagant romance unraveled.
Dalia Mohammed, the eldest of three children, was born in New York. When she was 13 years old, her family relocated to Boynton Beach. Her father, of Egyptian descent, worked as a waiter at the Ritz-Carlton, while her mother, who was Peruvian, held a managerial position at an HMO. Dalia attended Santaluces High School in Lantana.
When Dalia turned 18, her parent’s marriage began to unravel, and her mother filed for divorce, alleging her father had a girlfriend on the side. As a result, her father eventually moved to Maine, while Dalia and her siblings stayed in Boynton Beach with their mother. Court documents from November 2000 indicate that Dalia was attending college and working.
Details about Dalia’s life become unclear after this point. According to an informant/friend, she moved to California with her architect fiancé and worked in a massage or tanning parlor. The informant claimed that she took her fiancé’s ring and some money and divorced him. However, it is uncertain how long she stayed in California.
By 2006, Dalia had returned to Florida and obtained a real estate sales license. The informant who spent time with her noticed a change in her demeanor. She seemed to possess a polite yet petulant attitude, accustomed to having things go her way. Aware of her physical attractiveness, she used her body’s allure to manipulate men. When she made requests, she expected them to be fulfilled. The informant described her as having a two-faced personality, capable of having sudden outbursts or tantrums if she didn’t get her way.
In contrast, Michael Dippolito, who came from a different background, was of Italian descent and originally from Philadelphia. He was 12 years older than Dalia. Michael had four tattoos on his well-muscled arms and legs: a woman, an Italian flag, Jesus Christ, and a black panther. In 1993, when he was 22 years old, Michael was arrested in Philadelphia on drug-related charges. He missed his initial court hearing, resulting in a bench warrant for his arrest. However, there is no record indicating that the Philadelphia Police ever apprehended him.
In 1997, he relocated to Boca Raton and secured a job through a temp agency. However, one fateful night in August, he encountered legal trouble when he was arrested on North Dixie Highway. The arrest took place after he offered $15 to an undercover Broward County sheriff’s deputy in exchange for sex. Subsequently, he pleaded guilty to the charges and was subsequently released.
Residing in Northfield Center, Ohio, George Nemeth found himself enticed by a seemingly alluring and “glamorous” business opportunity while sitting at home. A salesman from Michael Dippolito’s company convinced Nemeth that by investing $20,000, he could earn a substantial profit of $7,000 to $8,000 within a few months. This prospect painted a vivid picture in Nemeth’s mind of the boat he could purchase with the anticipated profits, leading him to consider sending even more money.
Numerous customers, including Nemeth, transferred funds to Dippolito’s corporate bank account in Jacksonville. Some sent amounts such as $16,000, while one individual even sent $25,000. However, it wasn’t long before Nemeth discovered that he had fallen victim to a scam. His attempts to contact M.A.D. Financial went unanswered, and naturally, the promised profits never materialized.
Instead, Dippolito pocketed the money for his personal indulgence. He splurged on luxury hotel accommodations, clothing, and jewelry. According to a probable cause affidavit, he spent over $6,000 on “pay-by-the-minute chatrooms,” which included psychic services and phone sex hotlines.
Upon realizing the fraudulent nature of Dippolito’s operation, Nemeth contacted the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, only to discover that officials were already aware of Dippolito’s scheme. In 2002, the commission filed a federal lawsuit, alleging that Dippolito’s companies had amassed a total of over $200,000 within approximately 11 months. Dippolito, as the sole officer and director of both companies, became the focus of legal action.
In March 2002, Detective Calabro apprehended Dippolito, leading to his subsequent arrest. Dippolito ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of organized fraud, grand theft, and unlicensed telemarketing. As a result, he received a two-year prison sentence, though he served only seven months due to the time already spent in jail during the trial. Furthermore, Dippolito was obligated to make monthly restitution payments to his victims and currently remains on probation until 2032.
After his release from prison, those close to Dippolito believed that he had turned over a new leaf. In July 2007, he embarked on a new venture by establishing an online marketing company called Mad Media Inc. According to Detective Calabro, Dippolito used a portion of his income from this venture to repay his victims, indicating his efforts to make amends. Calabro perceived Dippolito’s actions as a sign of his commitment to staying clean and moving forward from his past transgressions.
One of Dippolito’s victims, Nemeth, attests to receiving consistent restitution checks over the years, albeit for small amounts ranging from $8 to $10 per month. This suggests that Dippolito was making efforts to fulfill his financial obligations towards those he had defrauded.
Despite Dippolito’s criminal activities, Maria Luongo, his romantic partner at the time, continued to date him. Even to this day, she insists that the man she fell in love with was a caring and affectionate boyfriend who would never intentionally harm anyone. Maria, who is now 29 years old, describes Dippolito as someone who would do anything for her, always prioritizing the happiness of others before his own. The couple got married in 2007 after knowing each other for nine years. Maria recalls an instance where Dippolito purchased a new flat-screen TV to replace her parents’ broken one during Christmas, highlighting his thoughtful nature and generosity.
Although Maria was aware of Dippolito’s past legal troubles and stood by him even during his time in prison, she chooses not to comment on that aspect of his history. However, it is evident that there were certain aspects of her husband’s life that she remained unaware of. For instance, Maria did not have a clear understanding of how Dippolito earned a living. According to court documents, Dippolito claimed to earn $87,000 per year from his marketing business. Nevertheless, the legitimacy of the business remains uncertain. Mad Media Inc.’s website, madmedia1.com, has a basic design featuring a picture of a bulldog at the top. The site describes the company as an outsourced media planning, buying, and strategy organization with expertise in interactive direct marketing. It emphasizes its proprietary technology-based solutions enabling the real-time delivery of high-volume, targeted, qualified, and cost-effective leads, along with campaign optimization and management.
“I don’t know anything about any of that,” Maria Dippolito states when asked about certain events involving her ex-husband, Michael Dippolito.
Maria was unaware of how Michael entertained himself in her absence. In October 2008, while she was on a trip, Michael admitted to calling an escort to his office in Boca Raton. The escort who arrived at his door was Dalia Mohammed, and they immediately started dating. Despite Dalia primarily residing in California, she eventually moved back to Florida and into Michael’s house in Boca. Michael described their relationship as fast-paced and harmonious during a police interview.
The news of Michael’s new love interest came as a surprise to Maria. When she returned from her trip, Michael abruptly announced that he wanted a divorce and was moving out. Initially, he did not mention Dalia’s involvement. However, Maria discovered the truth when she saw him buying flowers one day and confronted him about seeing another woman. Michael confessed that he had met Dalia online, explaining that she lived in a different state. Maria found the story to be dubious.
By the end of January 2009, Maria and Michael finalized their divorce. And just five days later, Michael married Dalia at the Palm Beach County courthouse in Delray Beach. They then moved into a townhouse in Boynton Beach, which Michael had recently purchased outright, without a mortgage, for $225,000. Interestingly, Dalia had recently started working at Beachfront Realty, and she was the one who sold the house to Michael.
Following their marriage, Michael and Dalia settled into a routine. Dalia spent her days frequenting tanning salons, hair salons, and shopping in Bal Harbour, in addition to working out at LA Fitness. Meanwhile, their home served as the base for Michael’s marketing business, with security cameras installed at the front and back doors.
The couple also owned two dogs named Bella and Linguine. According to a friend of Dalia who acted as an informant, Dalia would wake up early every morning to administer a steroid injection to Michael before he went to the gym at 5:30 a.m. The friend mentioned that Michael was a former crack addict and a recovering alcoholic, and adhering to his routines was crucial for his well-being.
However, the police received information from an informant stating that Dalia Mohammed appeared to be growing increasingly annoyed with Michael Dippolito’s routines and expressed a desire to eliminate him. There was a particular incident when Michael was recovering from liposuction surgery aimed at eliminating his love handles. Dalia texted a friend, expressing her boredom and resentment while Michael was at home recuperating. Her friend commented negatively about Michael’s surgery, referring to it as “pretty gay.” Dalia agreed, describing him as superficial and expressing her belief that someone like him would never find happiness.
In another conversation, Dalia complained about Michael’s mother, referring to her as “psycho trailer trash.” She vented her frustration about his mother’s extended visits, stating that she would stay for much longer than normal people would. Dalia found it bothersome and even confronted Michael about it, but his mother still did not take the hint. These tensions within their relationship were evident in Dalia’s messages.
As the strain between the newlyweds increased, their financial activities took a peculiar turn. Michael revealed to the police that just two weeks into their marriage, he started transferring $100,000 to Dalia. Bank records confirm that he wrote at least 12 separate checks from his Mad Media account to Dalia using her maiden name. Checks ranging from $6,000 to $7,000 were written at random intervals in February and March, sometimes occurring multiple times a day.
During interviews with the police, Michael claimed that he gave Dalia the money with the intention of paying off his entire restitution debt of $191,000 in one lump sum. Thereby enabling him to end his probation. Dalia purportedly offered to contribute half of the amount. Michael believed that by giving her $100,000, she would combine it with her own $91,000 to settle the entire debt. However, instead of using the money for its intended purpose, Dalia kept it for herself.
Michael’s explanation of the events surrounding his financial situation becomes convoluted, and the numbers he provided to the police did not add up correctly. He admitted to losing $240,000 with Dalia, describing it as unexplainable money.
In a surprising move, Michael transferred the deed of his $225,000 townhouse to Dalia, stating that she would be the sole owner until he cleared his financial restitution to his victims.
The money trail suggests a possible scenario where Michael transferred cash and assets to his wife to create the appearance that he had no resources and thus avoid paying restitution. Dalia shared this narrative with her informant friend. According to the informant, Dalia claimed that Michael had enough money to fulfill his obligation but was hiding it in a Cayman Islands bank account. Dalia allegedly planned to deplete his funds entirely. When authorities searched Dalia’s safe deposit box. They discovered a document indicating the existence of an account in her name at Cayman National Bank.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office stated that Michael Dippolito’s probation officer, David Banks, should monitor his monthly income to ensure he meets his restitution requirements. However, none of the involved parties, including David Banks, a representative from the Florida Department of Corrections, or Michael Dippolito’s attorneys, offered any comments.
Apart from the financial peculiarities, other unusual incidents occurred within the Dippolito marriage. Someone anonymously alerted the police about drug dealing in their vehicle during their stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Manalapan, prompting the summoning of police officers upon checkout. The police officers searched the vehicle but did not find any illicit substances, so they permitted the individuals to leave.
A similar event took place at CityPlace in West Palm Beach. Where police received a tip about drugs hidden in Michael’s Chevy Tahoe. Under the spare tire, the authorities discovered two small baggies of cocaine. Once again, Michael managed to avoid arrest by alleging that he had been set up before and that he suspected his ex-wife’s involvement.
On another occasion, the police were reported by a neighbor about Michael and Dalia. Who was referred to as a “dealer” and his girlfriend, for a domestic dispute at the Dippolito residence? When questioned, the couple admitted they had been arguing about money.
Furthermore, Michael received a note on his truck instructing him to bring $40,000 to a designated parking space at a specific time. The note warned him not to inform anyone, including his wife. Michael expressed growing paranoia and concern for his safety, expressing a wish that the person behind it would confront him directly rather than sending cryptic messages.
Amidst these escalating events, Michael revealed his past connections to the Bonanno crime family to the police. He mentioned that two individuals from Boynton Beach, Pasquale, and Joseph Rubbo, had recently been arrested and linked to organized crime. He had been involved with them. The police officer concluded that these connections might explain the attempts to intimidate Michael, unaware of the involvement of Dalia.
However, the informant’s account provided a wildcard in the situation—Dalia herself. As Dalia struggled to conceal her embezzlement from Michael, she resorted to desperate measures. She claimed to be pregnant, hoping that it would lead Michael to forgive her. But this deception had a short-lived existence. Dalia attempted to resolve the problem by either sending him to prison or having him killed. She aimed to erase her mistakes and acquire his house, cars, and cash.
Dalia even asked her informant friend if they knew a hitman who could carry out the task, offering to pay them. When the informant refused, some men who overheard the conversation expressed interest in fulfilling her request.
As her desperation to eliminate her husband grew, Dalia also engaged in an affair with an unidentified man from California. According to cell phone records, on July 24, she exchanged text messages with the man named Mike, expressing her love for him and making arrangements to meet at a Marriott in South Florida. "I can't wait to see you," Mike wrote. "I wish we were together on the couch. I love you, babe..." "I love you so much. It's a shame we're not in the same city," Dalia responded. Six days later, Dalia met with an informant at a gas station. While the informant went inside to buy cigarettes, Dalia took advantage of the opportunity and seized his gun from the glove compartment, placing it in her purse. This action proved to be the final straw. "I demanded she leave the car immediately," said the informant. The following day, Dalia offered the informant $5,000 or $6,000 to purchase a gun on her behalf. However, he declined. Frustrated with his refusal, Dalia asserted that she would find someone else to accomplish the task. Consequently, the informant decided to report the situation to the police. Upon hearing this account, the detectives from Boynton Beach asked the informant if Michael had a history of violence. They pondered the possibility that Dalia might be fearful and considering self-defense. "She claims he's violent," the informant replied. However, "from what I've gathered about him through mutual acquaintances—he's not someone I personally know, mind you—he's considered a genuinely nice guy. I mean, he even forgave her for a $200,000 debt." The informant further mentioned that in the past, Dalia had described Michael as kind. "He's the nicest, sweetest nerd, but she can't stand him." In response, the police decided to install a hidden video camera in the informant's car and orchestrated a meeting with Dalia at a Mobil station in Boynton Beach. With the camera recording, the informant, acting as a friend, posed one more question to Dalia—whether it was truly worth killing her husband for his money. "It's not even about the damn money," a frustrated yet still sweet-tongued Dalia exclaimed, dressed in a tank top and baseball cap. "You just don't get it... It's about, like, his damn friends and all that stuff." She explained that Michael's friends had connections to organized crime and that "he knows a lot of people. If I were to file for divorce, he would come after me. No doubt." The informant sounded miserable. The camera captured only the back of his shaved head, but his voice conveyed a thick annoyance, as if he desired nothing more than to escape the car. But first, he needed to ensure Dalia was serious about hiring a hitman. "So, once he's killed or whatever... his mother won't suspect you?" the informant inquired. "Why would she?" Dalia retorted. "Do you have any idea what it means to take someone's life? Killing someone? Come on. Nobody will be able to point a finger at me." She firmly believed that everyone would be convinced that Michael's mob associates were responsible, as she intended to implicate them. "I'm going to name every damn one of them, and I couldn't care less," she declared. She assured her friend that once the hit was carried out, they would "never speak of it again." Then she handed him $1,200 in cash to pay the hitman. On August 3, an undercover police officer, posing as the hitman, drove to meet Dalia in a CVS parking lot. Once again, their conversation was recorded on video.Dalia wore her hair in a ponytail, occasionally smoothing it down with her hand. She appeared youthful, displaying a hint of nervousness, yet maintained a flirtatious demeanor.
“I’m much tougher than I appear,” she confidently stated to the police officer. She chuckled, saying, “I know what you’re thinking, ‘Oh, what a cute little girl.'” She laughed again. “But I’m not.”
The cop responded, “You are. You’re incredibly beautiful.”
“Thank you,” Dalia replied, fluttering her eyelashes. “But I just want to ensure everything gets taken care of.”
They proceeded to negotiate a fee for the murder, and she discussed her husband’s schedule for the day of the planned shooting. The officer issued a warning to her, stating, “Once you do it, you won’t have the opportunity to change your mind.”
Dalia reassured him, “There’s no changing. I’m positive, like 5,000 percent sure.”
The plan was set in motion on August 5. Following the arrangements made with the supposed hitman, Dalia left for the gym at 6 a.m. Meanwhile, the police went to her house and staged a fake crime scene. They cordoned off the entrance with yellow tape, propped the door open, and positioned a squad car outside with its flashing lights, creating an ominous scene.
Simultaneously, they informed Michael Dippolito about his wife’s plot and escorted him to safety at the police headquarters.
An officer called Dalia at the gym and instructed her to return home immediately. As if on cue, she collapsed, sobbing, in the arms of an officer upon hearing the news of her husband’s death. The police filmed the scene, and the footage gained national attention.
Overnight, Michael Dippolito became a prominent victim. Dressed in a button-down shirt and flanked by his lawyers, a visibly shaken Dippolito spoke with Matt Lauer on the Today Show, expressing his disbelief regarding his wife’s actions. “It hasn’t sunk in. I don’t fully grasp what really happened,” he said with a faltering voice.
A few months later, the police released the video of their interrogation with Dalia. In a cramped and dimly lit room, they initially allowed her to believe they were genuinely investigating her husband’s death. She implicated a mob associate named Pasquale and even shed a few tears, concealing her face with a baseball cap.
But the police saw through her deception. After letting her ramble for a while, Sgt. Paul Sheridan left the room briefly and returned with a solemn tone in his voice.
“The game is over,” he stated. “There are no more games between you and me. I want to know if you recognize this man.”
Sheridan opened the door, allowing a handcuffed man to shuffle in—the supposed hitman. Dalia vehemently denied ever seeing him before.
Sheridan stared at her for a moment.
“Today, you’re going to jail for solicitation of murder,” he declared. “You’re under arrest. That’s an undercover police officer. We recorded everything you did.”
Dalia leaned forward in shock. “I didn’t do anything,” she repeated, her voice trembling as tears began to flow.
“Your husband is safe and alive,” Sheridan informed her.
“I’d like to see my husband, please,” she pleaded.
“No, he doesn’t want to see you,” came the reply.
Another officer entered to handcuff Dalia while someone else brought Michael Dippolito to the door of the interrogation room. Dalia tried her best to appear surprised. “Oh my God,” she said. “Come here, please. Come here.”
“I can’t,” he responded as the officers led him away.
As the detectives commenced their interrogation in earnest, Dalia refused to answer most of the questions. She pouted, whined, and repeatedly asked to call her mother. “I haven’t done anything,” she asserted. “All I want is to go home.”
Even when confronted, she exuded confidence, believing that her charm would win them over. "You're treating me like a criminal, but I'm not," she insisted. "I'm not that kind of person. I'm just not." They played the recording of her proclaiming to be "5,000 percent sure." She listened quietly. "Is that your voice on the tape? Yes or no?" a detective inquired. Dalia remained silent. "I never exchanged money with anyone," she declared. "I never wanted anyone dead." A detective then presented her with pictures of her encounter with the undercover cop. "What more evidence do you need?" he asked. Dalia later pleaded not guilty to solicitation to commit murder and currently resides under house arrest at her mother's home in Boynton Beach. Meanwhile, Michael Dippolito is rebuilding his life after being set free. However, he is now facing a child support lawsuit from his ex-partner, Karen Tanne. His finances are under scrutiny by both a private attorney involved in the case and an assistant state attorney reevaluating his restitution obligations. The Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson stated that there is no way to verify whether anyone there is actively seeking Dippolito.
Both Michael and Dalia, not appearing as upstanding citizens. They have led their respective lawyers to request a gag order in the murder-for-hire case. Consequently, despite the intense public intrigue surrounding South Florida’s most peculiar newlyweds, the peculiarities of their relationship will remain shrouded in mystery until the trial commences. “Dalia’s attorney, Michael Salnick, conveyed in an email to New Times.” Any discussions concerning this case or the individuals involved will exclusively take place within the courtroom.”