Luxury real estate runs in the family for one of Discovery +’s Selling the Hamptons castmembers, but their father turned to defrauding his own investors to keep up extravagant appearances.
Realtor Bianca D’Alessio’s father Michael D’Alessio is currently serving six years in federal prison for embezzling tens of millions from investors in his real estate ventures. He pled guilty in April 2019 and was sentenced in June of that year.
The deal for his investors was too good to be true, but the checks always cleared so no one asked any questions. For a while, D’Alessio was paid his investor clients annual returns of 15-18%, but it was all built on a house of cards.
He would also use the money coming in from new investors to cover his gambling losses and fund a luxurious lifestyle.
The ugly truth was that the money was being funneled from funds that were supposed to be used on renovations for the investment properties, but was instead being run through his maze of bank accounts. In essence, Michael D’Alessio was running a Ponzi scheme.
During Episode 2 of Season One, Bianca opened up about her father’s fraud charges, and how they have impacted her own career. “My whole life, I grew up being taught that your name and your reputation is everything,” she says. “All of that changed. A number of years ago my father pled guilty to a financial fraud.”
“He was a very, very successful real estate developer, and I had no idea that his projects weren’t doing well, that the market wasn’t doing well, and this was what was going on in our life. All of a sudden my father had been arrested by the FBI and my whole family’s life was shattered.”
Bianca goes on to say that she became embarrassed of her name for the first time in her life after her father got arrested in 2019, and she still feels embarrassed about it. Since they work in the same industry, her father’s actions have taken a huge hit on her own personal brand and reputation, and she feels she has to work extra hard to prove her reliability in this extremely competitive and high-stakes market.