Crime | March 22, 2022 5:59 pm

NYC’s Newest Grifter Calls Himself the “Wolf of Airbnb”

Konrad Bicher is accused of running an illegal short-term rental operation in a luxury condo in Midtown

A photo of the New York City skyline. A new NYC grifter has appeared: Konrad Bicher, who calls himself the "Wolf of Airbnb."
Concrete jungle where grifts are made of...
Getty

Anna Sorokin (alias Delvey) may have been, in our humble opinion, the best to ever do it, but it seems there’s a new grifter in town — and he goes by the name “Wolf of Airbnb.”

According to new court documents, the 30-year-old — whose real name is Konrad Bicher — stands accused of running an illegal short-term rental operation in a luxury condo building in Midtown Manhattan to fund his lavish lifestyle. This isn’t his first rodeo, either. Per a report from the New York Post, Bicher has been accused of similar schemes in nearly 20 other cases.

His “modus operandi is to enter into leases for Manhattan residential apartments or, as here, worm his way into occupancy, and run a type of ‘bust-out’ operation,” a lawsuit filed with the New York Supreme Court and seeking $1.5 million alleges.

“That includes renting the apartment out as a profit center through Airbnb, Peerspace and other similar platforms for short-term rentals, failing to pay rent, using the pandemic and laws related thereto to delay any proceedings, and to vacate on the point of eviction,” the lawsuit states.

For the uninitiated, most short-term rentals (read: stays fewer than 30 days) are illegal in New York City. The unit at 450 W. 42nd St. where Bicher currently retains a lease (despite allegedly not having been in the building since July 2019) is among those that strictly prohibits short-term rentals. Even still, it was available to rent for a time via Peerspace in just three-hour increments.

“There was an ever-changing cast of strangers with luggage coming in and out of the apartment for short-term stays,” the filing continues. “Defendants would leave notices to building personnel that these short-term transients were their ‘guests,’ and would leave cloned copies of key fobs.”

But — between having in-depth knowledge of both eviction bans and court backlogs, as well as claims of COVID rent hardships to fall back on — Bicher has become virtually impossible to get rid of. That is, of course, despite allegedly having been granted pandemic relief funds to the tune of $141,875, according to the New York Post.

While an Airbnb spokesperson has since confirmed that Bicher is no longer on the platform, there’s one thing (thanks to grifter queen Anna Delvey) that we know for sure, which is that grifters gon’ grift. It’s a sentiment that Bicher himself has seemingly confirmed.

“The Wolf of Airbnb: It means someone who is hungry and ruthless enough to get on top of the financial ladder,” Bicher told the website The Real Deal in a text. “They compare the ferocity to that of a wolf, because wolves are territorial, vicious and show no mercy when provoked.”