Once a real estate “Wharton Whiz Kid,” now Adam Hochfelder has gone from mogul to having to admit to a court that he operated a $20 million scam that hurt his own friends and family.
The misdemeanor charge to which he pleaded meant he admitted to concocting a fraud scheme, and his punishment is to pay $1 million in restitution. The money actually goes towards a case that came before this one, thanks to a plea deal that he got with Manhattan prosecutors, the New York Post reports.
According to court papers, the New York Post was able to piece together an idea of how the scheme worked, using the limited information available in the filings. Hochfelder ran a “systematic ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud more than one person and to obtain property from more than one person by false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises.”
A source who spoke with the New York Post said that one part of the scam included something that is pretty valuable to have in New York. He used the prospect of Knicks tickets as one of his means of producing a scheme between June 2015 and January 2017.
He admitted to defrauding banks, family and friends out of more than $20 million back in 2010. Hochfelder did so by scamming people with real estate schemes. The money was flushed right down the toilet for things like cocaine and frivolous expenses. The former whiz kid was sentenced to a between almost three years in prison to a maximum of eight.
As is the case too often in white collar criminal cases, the convicts are able to find work almost right away and with no problem. Hochfelder has a job as managing director of Real Estate Acquisitions & Development at Merchants Hospitality. The real estate huckster is in charge of buying and developing luxury properties and restaurant brands, the New York Post reports.
“Mr. Hochfelder has reached an agreement to resolve a private matter, unrelated to Merchants Hospitality,” Merchants partner Richard Cohn said in a statement to the New York Post.
Merchants Hospitality, Inc. was founded in 1986. It operates as a hospitality company with focuses in investment, development, ownership and management of real estate, restaurants and hotels. MHI’s corporate headquarters are located at One World Trade Center, Suite 47A, New York, NY 10007.
MHI has developed restaurants and properties that could fit in anywhere in the country, from the shopping areas in the World Trade Center Transportation Hub to the middle of Idaho.
Each restaurant concept provides different experiences. Real Estate projects are focused on the repositioning of assets where value can be added in order to bring opportunistic type investment returns. MHI is actively looking to acquire additional properties including residential, hotels and commercial assets.
Abraham Merchant is one of the principals of MHI and serves as its president and CEO. Richard Cohn, another principal of MHI, serves as general counsel and COO. Andrew Emmet, Principal, serves as VP of MHI.
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