Interviews with sources who have known Melissa and Joe Gorga for years reveal a laundry list of money scams, bounced checks and defaulted payments that paint a picture completely different from that well-off family seen on TV!
“Joe Gorga has been scamming for years,” an insider tells Star. “He owes everyone money. And Melissa is on board. Joe’s the liar, and Melissa swears to it. Or Melissa lies, and Joe swears to it. They’re a perfect team.”
While Joe presents his real estate development business as a thriving venture, sources say he regularly “borrows” money from his friends, family and even employees, then often fails to pay them back. One close insider tells Star that a longtime member of his construction crew — whom, the source estimates, Joe pays about $50,000 a year — spent his own money to replace the tires on Joe’s work truck and loaned him up to $10,000. “Joe never paid the guy back,” the source says. All his employees hate Joe for what he did. He owes money to a bunch of them.”
It’s not just his staff, either. He lost one of his closest friends because he never paid back the money that his buddy loaned him. But perhaps the most egregious scam Joe has pulled was on his own parents! According to multiple sources and reports, Joe convinced his mom and dad to sell their home in Paterson, N.J.to help him fund construction on a lavish mansion in Montville Township, N.J. In return for their sacrifice, he moved his parents into a smaller home in Wayne, N.J. and took out a $500,000 mortgage on that house in his and his dad’s name. Since then, the Wayne house has been sold under cryptic circumstances, and Joe and Melissa unloaded the Montville home for $3.8 million in 2013. But Joe still hasn’t paid back his parents.
Joe’s money taking doesn’t stop there. In fact, Star obtained a copy of a letter that JPMorgan Chase bank sent to Gorga Enterprises Inc., dated July 14, 2009, that references a $1,000 check that had been “presented for payment against insufficient funds” — meaning that Joe had written a check without having enough money in the bank to cover the payment.
As for Melissa, she’s not exactly innocent in Joe’s shady dealings. “We already know that she’s bounced checks, and she asks to borrow clothes for events,” the insider adds. “She supports her husband 100 percent, as long as she can drive around in those Bentleys and still have all her stuff.”