Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a bit of legal tangle over his Palo Alto home
The Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is in a bit of legal tussle with a real estate developer which actually is turning into a major headache for him.
Zuck’s headache started in November 2012 when a real estate developer, Mircea Voskerician, told him that he planned to build a 9,600 square foot house behind the very private Zuckerberg’s home in Palo Alto, Calif.
Then Voskerician made Zuckerberg an offer he could not refuse which Zuckerberg’s financial advisor called “obscene proposal,” in a email to him.
Voskerician proposed selling Zuckerberg a small piece of land in front of his Palo Alto residence. Zuckerberg’s wife, Priscilla Chan, wrote: “It’s stuff like this that makes me so sad and angry.” However Zuckerberg struck a deal with Voskerician to buy his contractual rights to the entire property.
Now Voskerician claims he was fooled by Zuckerberg. He says that he had an offer of $4.3 million but sold Zuckerberg those rights for $1.7 million because the Facebook honcho promised to introduce him to “influential people” in Silicon Valley.
Voskerician filed a lawsuit in May 2014 against Zuckerberg claiming the Facebook CEO had reneged his promise of introducing him to influential people. He was deposed this week in California.
Emails between Zuckerberg and his advisors suggest the Zuck had no intention of helping the real estate agent other than in a “light” way. In fact he asked advice from his real estate agent about how to throw Voskerician off, “How do we make this go away?” Zuck asked in a email to him.
Zuckerberg’s lawyers argued that Voskerician is trying to extort and embarrass their client. Now, according to the New York Times, Voskerician is trying to get access to Zuckerberg’s personal finances and net worth.
Facebook has refused to comment on the legal mess claiming that it was Zuckerberg’s personal affair while Zuckerberg’s attorney Patrick Gunn told the New York Times that “the claims asserted in the lawsuit have no merit and my client intends to defend them vigorously.”
It remains to be seen whether the judge also sees the charges against Zuck in a “light” way.