Dino Guglielmelli, who prosecutors say attempted to hire a friend to murder Monica Olsen, is scheduled to go on trial May 1
Credit: Jesse Grant/Getty; Courtesy Creation's Garden

Monica Olsen is a gorgeous former model whom many men would want to marry. But prosecutors say her husband, Dino Guglielmelli, CEO of a health supplements company, wanted her dead.

So much so that, over a lunch of mint noodles and chicken on Oct. 1 of last year, Guglielmelli, 52, allegedly offered his friend, Richard Fuhrmann, $80,000 to do a hit on Olsen, who walked runways at high-profile fashion shows and appeared in the 2002 movie The Hot Chick.

Olsen and Guglielmelli wed 11 years before their marriage fell apart. Deputy District Attorney Emily Cole told PEOPLE Tuesday that the former couple were going through a bitter divorce when Guglielmelli apparently decided he’d rather kill his wife than see her prevail in their battles over money and custody of their two young daughters.

Fuhrmann told authorities: “Dino has to win. It was about winning,” according to Cole.

Guglielmelli instead appears to have lost big time. His company, Creation’s Garden, which once posted annual sales of $50 million, declared bankruptcy Nov. 20. And Guglielmelli, who is in jail on $10 million bail and has pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to go on trial May 1 on charges of attempted murder and solicitation to commit murder.

If convicted, Cole says, Guglielmelli could be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after seven years.

Cole says she’s not sure why Guglielmelli thought Fuhrmann would carry out the hit – but he kept asking him about it to the point where Fuhrmann “was seriously concerned that he was going to get someone to kill Monica,” Cole says. So Fuhrmann contacted police and secretly recorded his last conversation with Guglielmelli.

“There’s no way for them to track it back to me?” Guglielmelli asked Furhmann, according to the covert 1½-hour recording, portions of which were played at a preliminary hearing.

Olsen, 32, whose legal name is Monica Adreny, worked in New York and Milan for top designers including Helmut Lang, Thiery Mugler, Michael Kors and BCBG Max Azaria. Since learning of her husband’s alleged plan, she has filed for divorce, but Guglielmelli is contesting the action from jail.

Guglielmelli’s lawyer, Anthony Brooklier, says his client was set up.

“When the jury hears the tapes, they’re going to understand that he was manipulated by somebody who was trying to help himself,” Brooklier told KABC.