Notorious Manhattan developer Adam Hochfelder is back in court and in trouble once again over fraud allegations.
Hochfelder appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday, where he was charged with scheme to defraud, according to the New York Daily News. He was expected to plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge on Friday.
Hochfelder’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo, told the News that he “borrowed money from acquaintances under circumstances that were less than honest and then paid them back.”
“There’s no theft charge, there’s no larceny charge because there’s no doubt he paid everybody back,” he said.
Hochfelder is currently the head of acquisitions and development at Merchants Hospitality, which owns the Cachet Boutique hotel on the far West Side.
This is not Hochfelder’s first run-in with the law. He infamously went to prison in 2010 for bilking investors and lenders out of $18 million and was released late in 2012. He then spent some time working as a consultant for Merchants Hospitality.
Hochfelder told The Real Deal in 2014 that he was “happy being a dad, a coach and helping these guys [Merchants] out.”
Hochfelder burst onto the New York City real estate scene in the late 1990s. His firm, Max Capital Management, put together a portfolio that included several Manhattan trophy properties such as the Helmsley Building and 450 West 33rd Street. He bought out his partner N. Richard Kalikow in 2002 for $35 million, which left him financially strained and sparked his turn toward illegal activities, his attorney told TRD. He was hit with a 58-charge indictment in 2008 accusing him of defrauding banks, friends and family of more than $18 million. [NYDN] – Eddie Small