Michael Prozer III, a former contestant on Bravo television’s Millionaire Matchmaker, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud and making a false statement to a financial institution.
According to court records, Prozer and former Wachiovia banker Fedor Stanley Salinas worked together to swindle a now-defunct Georgia bank, Park Avenue Bank, by obtaining a short-term business loan secured by non-existent collateral.
During their scam, Prozer and Salinas used false bank statements and documents to convince the bank that Prozer had more than $21 million in deposits at Wachovia Bank. Park Avenue Bank lost nearly $3 million as a result of the scheme.
Both men pled guilty to the fraud in April. For his part in aiding Prozer, Salinas was sentenced 27 months in prison after which he will be deported to Ecuador.
The court also issued a $3 million money judgment against both men.
“I do take responsibility for what had happened,” Prozer said Thursday at his sentencing hearing, adding, “I’ve done a lot of good things. This case makes it look like I’m a horrible person.”
In his Millionaire Matchmaker segment, the 38-year-old father of two claimed to be worth around $400 million, which he said he earned as the CEO of Xchange Agent Inc., a company that processed internet credit payments in South America, a kind of Latin PayPal.
HuffPo notes that, on the show, Prozer showed off a private jet and a sprawling mansion, but it now appears they were facades propped up by money he’d swindled and people he’d conned.
“Everybody trusted Mr. Prozer,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney said Thursday. “He was very good at putting on a façade that he was wealthy.”
ABC has more on Michael Prozer, the Millionaire Matchmaker fraud in the video below: