Adam Hochfelder, Businessman And Convicted Scammer, Says Upcoming Exposé Is "Retaliation"

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Who Is Adam Hochfelder? New Details On The Businessman And Convicted Scammer Facing An Exposé

Who's lying, and who's telling the truth?

He's the owner of Philippe Chow and an acclaimed real estate developer. However, he's also a convicted scammer who is currently facing an exposé that, of course, he claims is "retaliation" for ... something. Who is Adam Hochfelder?

Adam Hochfelder is someone who, "on paper," looks like the perfect catch. As the managing director of real estate acquisitions and development at the Merchants' Hospitality Group, Hochfelder was dubbed the "Wharton Whiz Kid" at the beginning of his career. His first deals involved the luxurious New York City addresses 230 Park Avenue and 1440 Broadway, and his best-known deal to date involved the Philippe Chow brand located in both New York City and in East Hampton, Long Island. 

But Hochfelder is not without his controversies. Let's look at what we know about them, and him. 

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1. He is the founder of both Merchants Hospitality Group and the Max Capital Group. 

Adam Hochfelder is the founder of the Merchants Hospitality Group, which "specializes in areas such as investment, development, ownership, and management of the real estate, restaurants, and hotels," according to an official press release about the company. The Max Capital Group, meanwhile, has more than $3 billion in assets and was instrumental in developing properties such as the Hyatt Andaz at 485 Fifth Avenue in NYC and the Westin Aruba Resort & Casino in the Caribbean. 

2. But Adam Hochfelder pleaded guilty to fraud. 

"Adam Hochfelder, 44, copped to misdemeanor scheme to defraud and had to cough up a $1 million restitution check to go toward his prior case as part of the negotiated plea deal with Manhattan prosecutors. There’s no jail time or punishment associated with the agreement," reported The New York Post, who added that there were no real details about the nature of this fraud plea, or whom precisely he defrauded in his scheme. They did, however, say that it involved Knicks tickets, which should have already been a sign that there was a problem. 

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3. He lied to get money from investors. 

The Real Deal reports that, much like the Fyre Festival fraud, Adam Hochfelder made up a series of doctored documents — including a fake purchase order from a "high-end fashion retailer" — to obtain money from investors. He even went so far as to get almost $300,000 from people while claiming that they could buy a building in foreclosure — and the building turned out to not only not be in foreclosure, it wasn't even for sale! 

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4. And Adam Hochfelder served time in jail for fraud in the past. 

"Adam Hochfelder, the star real estate executive who went to prison in 2010 for bilking lenders and investors out of $18 million, has quietly re-entered the property game," reported a different news report for The Real Deal, who added that he served two years in jail for his role in the fraud. Why he was allowed to re-enter the "property game," quietly or otherwise, is a mystery to everyone. 

5. He allegedly threatened the editors of The Real Deal.

According to Page Six, Adam Hochfelder — who also owns The Playboy Club under the Merchants Hospitality Group umbrella — allegedly threatened the editors of The Real Deal with physical violence, including sending "Mafia-looking guys" to the Real Deal offices to intimidate the editors, to prevent them from running an upcoming expose about him. 

6. But Adam Hochfelder not only denies the charges, he claims that the upcoming expose from The Real Deal is "retaliation."

"The Real Deal” publisher Amir Korangy sent an ad rep “to my office to aggressively pitch us to spend money” and that Korangy himself “also asked me to lunch three times and invited me to the Miami Real Deal event to speak and advertise," said Adam Hochfelder. He also claimed that Korangy “gave me the cell [numbers of] three writers and asked us to call them before the NY Post and before the [real estate news site] Commercial Observer when we closed deals," reported Page Six, and of course, this is a claim that The Real Deal denies. The Real Deal also said that the expose on Adam Hochfelder will "speak for itself" when it is finally released.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.