Nir Meir has been accused of some bizarre things, from falsifying wire transfers to hiring someone to impersonate a Korean investor.
But the latest allegations against the former HFZ Capital manager are perhaps the most dramatic, and come from the person who knows him best: his estranged wife, Rani Bartolacci.
She alleges in court files that while Meir was fighting creditors, he was drinking, partying, borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her father, and being verbally abusive. The texts and voicemails in the files depict Meir digging himself into an increasingly deep hole as debts Legal issues escalated.
Bartolacci seeks a divorce from Meir and tries to extricate herself from the legal troubles that have consumed him in the wake of the failed HFZ projects. Meir, through his lawyer, denied her allegations.
The most important thing that happened to her was that Meir and her former lawyer kept her in the dark about her legal problems, in particular the $13 million judgment against her and the court that held her in contempt of court.
“By the time this is over, your daughter won’t have a bowl to pee in.”
The judgment and contempt order stemmed from Israeli businessman Yoav Harlap’s bid to recover $18.5 million he lent to HFZ to develop the bankrupt Upper East Side project. When HFZ collapsed, the judge allowed Harapp to pursue Meir and his former partner, Zell Feldman, for debts. Harlap was eventually allowed to go after Bartolacci, but had no luck collecting the items.
a few months ago, Same judge He issued contempt orders against Meir and Bartolacci for transferring funds from restricted accounts.
But Justice Joel Cohen of the New York State Supreme Court has since found some of Bartolacci’s arguments credible. He has lifted the contempt order against her, calling her filings “shocking” during the most recent hearing.
Meir denies that Bartolacci is out of the loop. “Rani knew what was happening, and now she is trying to throw Nir under the bus to save herself,” Meir’s lawyer, Jonathan Davidoff, said.
However, Judge Meir — but not his wife — was charged with contempt a second time for continuing to improperly transfer money from the accounts.
Exile in style
Meir was too Lawsuit against Feldmanwho blames his ex-partner for the company’s downfall. Among Feldman’s claims is that Meir once hired a person with a Korean accent to convince an interested investor that a fake $100 million Korean investment was real. Meir denied the allegations, asserting that Feldman was aware of what was happening in his private company.
After terminating his employment at HFZ in late 2020, Meir moved his family into a $135,000-a-month rental in Miami Beach. The lease was in Bartolacci’s name.
Meir lived largely in Miami. The lawsuits accuse him of guzzling wine purchases, buying $1.5 million worth of gold, renting private jets and yachts, and staying at the Four Seasons Hotel. Harlap’s lawyer alleges that Meir spent $6,000 in one month at the Gold Rush Cabaret, a strip club in Miami.
Meir’s lawyers alleged that the money came from his wife.
At one point, the couple’s landlord sued Bartolacci, alleging that she had made illegal renovations. Bartolacci responded and both sides settled but Massa kick them out for a while early this year.
Tracy Klapow, one of Bartolacci’s college friends, was visiting when the eviction happened. In a dramatic scene, the police surrounded the property. Klapow, a real estate attorney, said she tried to get more information from Meir, but he was talking in circles. Then I started talking to Bartolacci to find out what was going on.
“I told her something wasn’t right,” Klapow said in the lawsuit. “Nothing makes sense.”
“start selling shit”
After the eviction, Bartolacci moved into her parents’ home in Jupiter, Florida. Kloppo began researching Meir’s legal issues and discovered a judgment and contempt order against Bartolacci.
“Rani and her father were shocked when I saw the script with them,” Klapoo said.
Meir’s erratic behavior was evident in text messages submitted to the court: he would beg her to call his lawyer, then lash out at her, then apologize.
Things got worse when Bartolacci filed for divorce in Palm Beach County. Meir texted Bartolacci’s father in June that he would “make it my life’s mission to make you broke” and vowed, “By the time this is over, your daughter won’t have a bowl to pee in. . . .”
That same day, he texted Bartolacci, “Tell your dad to start selling shit because you guys are going to need every penny to get you out of this.”
In her divorce suit, Bartolacci alleged that Meir owed her father $800,000, and that she was staying in expensive hotels and apartments while claiming poverty and refusing to pay child support.
Meir, who moved the case to Miami, claimed that Bartolacci moved the children to Palm Beach without his knowledge.
The accused lawyer
Bartolacci alleges that her lawyer at the time, Pankaj Malik, never informed her of the court orders and was acting solely in Meir’s best interest.Emails describing major legal events excluded Bartolacci. The messages were between Malek and Meir only, according to documents filed in the New York lawsuit.
In May, Bartolacci sent Malik a letter accusing the lawyer of misconduct, and said she was unaware of the contempt. Malik replied that she had only communicated with Meir and that Bartolacci had appointed Meir as her agent.
Malik declined to comment.
when The real deal I’ve reached out to Bartolacci for comment about the contempt orderSend your money TRD A cease and desist letter threatening legal action if all inquiries about the lawsuit do not reach her office.
Meir claims his wife buried her head in the sand, allowing him to handle her legal affairs – and is now trying to blame everything on him.
So far, the judge has not believed Meir’s claims that he is a victim. In April, Cohen issued a contempt order against him for transferring $603,500 to his wife’s checking account from a company that was supposed to be restricted.
During the hearing, the judge referred to Meir’s actions as a “cheating game” — an attempt to hide assets. Meir has yet to make the payments, according to court records, which could lead to his imprisonment.
Last week, Cohen ruled that Meir again violated court orders by moving $1 million into accounts that were supposed to be restricted. At the hearing, Cohen considered Meir’s arguments uncredible.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Meir was behind all of these asset transfers,” Cohen said. “It really is, after all, not that hard to tell.”