Former Luxury Condo Developer Denied Release on $5 Million Cash Bond Despite Financial Hardship

Former luxury condo development executive, Nir Meir, 49, was denied release on a $5 million cash bond by Judge Ann Thompson in Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday. Meir, the ex-managing principal of the HFZ Capital Group, had pleaded not guilty to charges of grand larceny, tax fraud, and falsifying business records in a sprawling $86 million fraud scheme. Despite his claims of financial hardship, the judge ruled against his release.

During the court proceedings, Meir, who was extradited from Miami Beach, Florida, after his arrest, emphasized his clean record and status as an upstanding citizen. He highlighted his role as the sole provider for his three underage children and his recent bankruptcy filing due to overwhelming liabilities and creditors. Meir stated that his bankruptcy was necessary to secure income and provide for his family.

However, Judge Thompson disregarded his plea, setting the bail at $5 million cash. The decision was influenced by the severity of the charges against Meir and the delay in law enforcement locating him after the warrant was issued. Assistant District Attorney Christopher Beard revealed that it took approximately seven days to find Meir, as he had been moving between high-end resorts and hotels during his ongoing divorce.

The charges against Meir are part of a broader criminal investigation led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office. Two other former HFZ employees and three executives from Omnibuild construction firm are also implicated in the case. The focus of the investigation revolves around the development of the luxury Manhattan condo project known as the XI, which HFZ hired Omnibuild to construct in 2015. Prosecutors allege that Meir orchestrated a scheme involving falsifying construction costs, deceiving investors, and forging bank statements to create the illusion of financial stability.

The XI project ultimately faced foreclosure in 2021 following HFZ’s financial collapse, which was accompanied by numerous investor lawsuits and additional foreclosures. Meir’s arrest and subsequent court appearance shed light on the alleged fraudulent activities that took place during his tenure at HFZ.

Author: CrimeDoor

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