Entries in Sting Operation (5)


Dalia Dippolito's Husband Speaks About Wife Hiring Hit Man to Kill Him

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Mike Dippolito, the man whose wife was caught on camera hiring a hit man to kill him, didn't feel any joy when Dalia Dippolito was sentenced to 20 years in prison last week.

"It didn't necessarily make me feel good.  It makes you realize how serious what was really going on was," said Mike Dippolito.  "It's just something you can't imagine anybody could really, really do.  It was so senseless for a girl, my take those steps to do that.  It was so unnecessary."

In 2009, detectives in Boynton Beach, Fla., set up an undercover sting operation targeting Dalia Dippolito after being tipped off by an old lover that she wanted her husband dead.  She was caught on camera hiring an undercover police officer who she thought was a hit man and seen faking tears in a mock crime scene set up by police to make her think her husband had been murdered.

The couple had been married just six months and strange things began happening to Mike Dippolito shortly after the marriage began.  His money would go missing and somebody had planted drugs in his car trunk.

"I was in love with my wife…that day when they told me your wife is going to have you murdered, everything just sort of fell into just solidified for me I'm not crazy," Mike Dippolito said.  "I think she might have loved me for a week."

Since learning of the plot, Mike Dippolito said that he's suffered a nervous breakdown.  The couple are still married and are working on their divorce proceedings.

When her family begged for leniency as Dalia Dippolito wiped away tears last week, Judge Jeffrey Colbath said the 28-year-old woman took advantage of the man who loved her.

"You used guile and sophistry to dupe others into your web of deception.  You were the puppet master that was pulling all the strings...It was pure evil," Colbath said.

Outside of the courtroom, Mike Dippolito supported the judge's ruling.

"I wish we were never here, and as far as the sentence, I'm 5,000 percent happy with it," he said.

The 5,000 percent Mike Dippolito mentioned was in reference to the undercover video showing his wife saying she was "5,000 percent sure" she wanted him dead.

During her trial, Dalia Dippolito's defense team claimed that the plot was fake and a ploy to get a reality television show.  Her lawyers claimed her husband, Mike, was in on the plot too.  Mike Dippolito has denied those claims.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Newlywed Faces Up to 30 Years in Prison for Murder Sting

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- It was a twisted South Florida story of greed, money and a murder plot, all caught on tape.

And it will come to a conclusion on Thursday when Dalia Dippolito gets sentenced for hiring a hitman to kill her husband just six months after they got married.  Dippolito, 28, faces up to 30 years in prison.

In 2009, detectives in Boynton Beach, Florida set up an undercover sting operation targeting Dippolito after being tipped off by an old friend that Dippolito wanted her husband, Mike Dippolito, dead.

Police decided the best thing to do was to equip the friend's car with a hidden camera, which eventually would record Dippolito discussing hiring a hitman to kill her husband.

Working with police, the friend, Mohamed Shihadeh, set up a meeting for Dippolito with a "hitman" who was actually an undercover Boynton Beach police officer.  Their conversation, too, was videotaped.

The tape shows the officer, Widy Jean, warning Dippolito that once their meeting ended, she wouldn't have an opportunity to change her mind about having her husband killed.

"There's no changing, no, like there's no changing," Dippolito replied.  "I'm positive, like 5,000 percent sure."

After Dippolito "hired" Jean, there was more camera work to be done.  They set up a fake crime scene at the Dippolitos' home to make sure it looked like Mike Dippolito really had been murdered.  When Dalia Dippolito arrived at the house and was told by police that her husband had been killed, two cameras caught her erupting into a fit of tears.

The police called it the worst acting job they'd ever seen.  They said the act continued in the police station interrogation room, where Dalia Dippolito denied killing her husband.

Videotape from the police station shows police eventually bringing Dippolito's "hitman" into the room and asking if she knew him.

"I've never seen him before, ever," was Dippolito's reply.

The tapes, of course, told a different story.  Police arrested Dippolito and, this past April, she went on trial on charges of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

Dippolito's lawyers couldn't deny what was on those police tapes, but attorney Michael Salnick, told the jury that nothing was what it seemed.  He claimed that Dippolito's husband was never going to be a victim.  Instead, he said, Mike Dippolito orchestrated the whole thing.

Defense attorneys argued Mike Dippolito was a fan of shows like the Jersey Shore and Cheaters which led him to plan a fake murder-for-hire so he and his wife could get their own reality show.

Dalia Dippolito expected her husband to tell investigators it was a hoax after she was arrested, defense lawyers said.  But when Mike Dippolito took the stand, he rejected the reality show idea.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's High School Pal Arrested in Prostitution Sting

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(HONOLULU) -- Richard Titcomb, an old high school buddy of President Obama from Hawaii, was arrested Monday for allegedly soliciting an undercover cop posing as a prostitute during a sting operation.

The 49-year-old Titcomb, who has worked as a commercial fisherman and airline employee, was released on $500 bail and is scheduled to appear in court next month.

Both Obama and Titcomb attended Punahou School in Honolulu during the 1970s.  The president still dines out and plays golf and basketball with Titcomb whenever he vacations in Hawaii.

The arrest comes the same week Obama announced his intentions to run for reelection.  The president surely doesn't need any added distractions, especially with the possibility of a government shutdown this weekend.

The White House had no comment about the arrest.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Doctors, Nurses, Therapists Arrested in Medicare Fraud Raids

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Federal agents raided health care facilities in nine states Thursday morning, arresting dozens of suspects believed to be defrauding Medicare of tens of millions of dollars.

Federal authorities say this is one of the largest -- if not the largest -- take-down of Medicare fraud suspects ever conducted.

The raids began Thursday morning in the pre-dawn hours.  The targets: more than 100 doctors, nurses, therapists and healthcare company executives who have allegedly been stealing tax dollars to the tune of $200 million in recent months.  Much of the fraud involved healthcare professionals billing the government for medical services never performed and medicines not provided.

The raids were conducted in Miami, Brooklyn, Tampa, Chicago, Baton Rouge, Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles.

Ten individuals, including three doctors and one physical therapist, were charged in Brooklyn, New York with fraud schemes involving $90 million in false billings for physical therapy, proctology services and nerve conduction tests.

In Miami, 32 defendants, including two doctors and eight nurses, were charged for their participation in various fraud schemes involving a total of $55 million in false billings for home health care, durable medical equipment and prescription drugs.

Twenty-one defendants, including three doctors, three physical therapists and one occupational therapist, were charged in Detroit for schemes to defraud Medicare of more than $23 million.  The Detroit cases involve false claims for home health care, nerve conduction tests, psychotherapy, physical therapy and podiatry.

Ten defendants were charged in Tampa, Florida, for participating in schemes involving more than $5 million related to false claims for physical therapy, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.  Nine individuals were charged in Houston for schemes involving $8 million in fraudulent Medicare claims for physical therapy, durable medical equipment, home health care and chiropractor services.

In Dallas, seven defendants were indicted for conspiring to submit $2.8 million in false billing to Medicare related to durable medical equipment and home health care.  Five defendants were charged in Los Angeles for their roles in schemes to defraud Medicare of more than $28 million.  The cases in Los Angeles involve false claims for durable medical equipment and home health care.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, six individuals were charged for a durable medical equipment fraud scheme involving more than $9 million in false claims.  In Chicago, charges were filed against 11 individuals associated with businesses that have billed Medicare more than $6 million for home health, diagnostic testing and prescription drugs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NYC Nabs Unlicensed Contractors in Undercover Sting Operation

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The city of New York announced Wednesday the results of an undercover sting operation that targeted illegal contractors.

The majority of states require home improvement contractors to be properly licensed, but there are still plenty of rogue companies operating.

Repairing or remodeling your home is one of the most expensive projects you'll ever undertake, and when things go wrong it can be not just a money issue but a safety issue.  That's why authorities in New York and elsewhere are getting tough with illegal, unlicensed contractors.

Authorities in New York used an ordinary house that appeared to be in need of repairs to perform a sting.  The homeowners who invited contractors to the house were actually inspectors with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

As soon as someone offers to perform contracting work, they have him.

"What is it you do?" an inspector asks a contractor.

"Everything," the contractor replies.

"I need brickpointing," the inspector said.

"I start with the foundation. I'm the contractor," the contractor said.

But actually, he's not.  In New York and at least 41 states, to be a contractor, you must be licensed or registered.

New York's sting netted a dozen companies and $65,000 in fines.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio