NYC Developer Charged in Massive Fraud Case

NYC Developer Charged in Massive Fraud Case

( – Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, Jr. has indicted New York real estate developer Nir Meir, the now-defunct HFZ Capital Group, and several high-ranking executives for engaging in a multi-year conspiracy to defraud contractors, investors, and the City of New York out of nearly $86 million. In a statement released on February 7, Bragg accuses Meir of serving as the ringleader in an alleged series of schemes that dates all the way back to 2015.

The DA’s office states that Meir and his associates executed a deliberate operation to divert funds through clandestine financial transactions and manipulated contracts. Their actions not only jeopardized the financial well-being of numerous contractors and investors but also reportedly compromised the integrity of New York’s real estate market, according to accusations.

In 2015, Meir allegedly spearheaded the misdirection of funds from the now-infamous 76 Eleventh project to other HFZ LLCs and personal accounts controlled by HFZ executives. This resulted in a nearly $37 million shortfall to Omnibuild Construction Inc. and its subcontractors, who had been hired to build two luxury condo towers in Manhattan.

To address the reported shortage of funds, Meir allegedly worked with OmniBuild’s John Mingione, Roy Galifi, and Kevin Stewart, and HFZ’s Anthony Marrone and Louis Della-Peruta to inflate project milestones and make it appear as if it was proceeding faster than it really was. They used this info to mislead a lender, securing an extra $6.5 million in capital.

According to Bragg’s statement, Meir then had an accountant falsify bank statements to overstate balances. HFZ used this information to mislead investors about its liquidity.

The indictment also accuses Meir and Roy Galifi of conspiring with an unnamed subcontractor on a kickback scheme that allowed them to siphon $300,000 off of a project lender. They persuaded the subcontractor to make periodic payments to Galifi, who then reimbursed the subcontractor by artificially inflating change order costs billed to the lender.

This case also highlights a $24 million theft from a construction project in Nomad and the gross misuse of $4.6 million from an investor for a phantom project in San Francisco. Bragg has also accused the group of defrauding the City of New York out of more than $15 million in property taxes through deliberate non-payment.

Notably, Mier filed for bankruptcy in Florida on February 1. At the time, he reportedly cited just $50 in assets against nearly $37,000 in monthly expenses.

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