As he awaits trial on federal criminal charges and with prosecutors keeping his assets on lockdown, a chunk of the Richmond real estate holdings tied to local mortgage executive and developer Michael Hild are being put up for grabs.
Ten properties owned through LLCs tied to Hild and his wife on the city’s Southside are scheduled for auction on Dec. 17, according to a release late Tuesday from auction firm Tranzon Fox.
The ownership entities – Church Hill Ventures LLC, Kingfisher LLC, and Gardenia LLC – sought and received permission from the federal government to sell the properties, according to Tranzon. That’s in accordance with a post-indictment restraining order the government put in place to preserve assets owned directly and indirectly by Hild while his case plays out.
Hild, 44, ran Chesterfield-based lender Live Well Financial until its collapse into bankruptcy this summer and was arrested in August on counts of securities fraud, mail fraud and bank fraud, related to an alleged reverse-mortgage bond scheme.
Several of the properties headed to auction were on the list of 29 properties the government said it would target for seizure if he was convicted, arguing that those properties “constitute proceeds of Hild’s fraudulent scheme.”
The properties up for grabs at auction include:
- 1518 Hull St and 6, 8, 10, & 12 East 16th St.
- 1129 Hull St.
- 1128 Hull St.
- 1201 Decatur St.
- 1910 Hull St.
- 1812 and 1814 Hull St.
- 1228 Hull St.
- 1703, 1715 and 1717 Maury St.
- 223 East 15th St.
Most notable among them is the old bank building at 1518 Hull St. Hild apparently had conceptual drawings produced for the site, showing a new construction, five-story, 55-unit apartment building sitting behind the existing bank building, which would be converted into 14 additional apartments. Those designs convey with any sale at auction, and zoning is in place for such a project, Tranzon said.
Also within the group is the old Lighthouse Diner building at 1228 Hull St.; the old Mechanics and Merchants Bank building at 1129 Hull St., now used as an event space; and an old church at 1201 Decatur.
The list of properties up for auction notably does not include the buildings that house Hild’s recently opened Dogtown Brewing Co. Hot Diggity Donuts and Butterbean Café.
It also does not include the 4-acre assemblage anchored by the Siegel’s Supermarket building at 2005 Hull St. which was listed for sale earlier this year for $12 million and the subject of a pending rezoning request.
A live auction will be conducted Dec. 17 at the Westin Richmond at 6631 W. Broad St., beginning at 11 a.m. Bids can also be made online.
The properties will be auctioned off individually, but buyers can bid on multiple parcels.
The government claims Hild’s alleged scheme illicitly netted $65 million from lenders by fraudulently inflating the value of Live Well’s portfolio of complex reverse-mortgage bonds to induce lenders to loan the company tens of millions of dollars more than they normally would have.
Hild has pleaded not guilty and remains free on a $500,000 bond. His only comment publicly since his arrest last month has been through his attorneys, who stated “every business failure is not a corporate crime.”
A trial is set for October 2020.
He also faces separate civil charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission of fraud and violations of federal securities laws. He’s due to respond to those claims on Nov. 29.
Also charged in both cases is Live Well’s former CFO Eric Rohr and Executive Vice President Darren Stumberger. They are cooperating with authorities and have pleaded guilty in the criminal case, and consented to partial judgements on the civil matter.
Hild’s wife Laura Dyer Hild is not a party to any of the government legal actions.