We all have our suspicions that reality TV is actually quite fake. Yet fake or not, lying for the purpose of appearing on a reality shows can have decidedly real-world consequences.
That's the case of Michael Prozer, a one-time star on Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker" who pleaded guilty in federal court this April to bank fraud charges.
On Thursday, Prozer was sentenced to eight years and six months in federal prison, reports Tampa Bay Online, for seven federal crimes, including conspiracy and wire, bank and mail fraud.
Prior to appearing on the show, Prozer convinced Fedor Salinas, a Wachovia Bank employee, to falsify documents and provide them to another (now-defunct) bank in Georgia for the purpose of securing a $3 million loan. Forbes reports Salinas earned $25,000 from Prozer for his work (and got caught -- he pleaded guilty in April), while Prozer pocketed the $3 million.
Prozer proceeded to use documentation of the bank loan to persuade an investor to loan him even more money, thereby putting on a fake appearance of extreme wealth, and, eventually, an appearance on "Millionaire Matchmaker."
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 online payment service in South America and Europe. Prozer flew his TV date to his mansion in Florida in his private jet, for some quality time golfing, cooking dinner and cavorting on jet skis.
ABC News reports the date "was a hot mess," but that after Prozer appeared on "Millionaire Matchmaker," he could present the TV segment as yet more proof of his wealth, and swindle others into giving him yet more money in investments.
According to KMAS, Prozer initially maintained his innocence, but eventually took "responsibility for what had happened." After he serves his sentence, Prozer will be deported to Ecuador.
WATCH Prozer's date on "Millionaire Matchmaker" below [via Bravo]: