Mark Zuckerberg Sued By Real Estate Developer

By David Cohen 

HouseUnderConstruction650Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent more than $43 million last October to buy four homes adjacent to his residence in Palo Alto, Calif., in the interest of protecting his privacy, but he is now facing a lawsuit filed by Mircea Voskerician, a developer who planned to build on one of the lots behind Zuckerberg’s home.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Voskerician filed suit in Santa Clara County Superior Court earlier this month, claiming that Zuckerberg had promised to help him by providing introductions and referrals to other wealthy individuals who might want to buy homes, but he never kept that promise.

According to the complaint, as reported by the newspaper, Voskerician made an offer on the property on Hamilton Avenue, which was accepted by the previous owner, and in turn he offered to sell Zuckerberg a portion of the lot to create a bigger buffer between Zuckerberg’s home and the house Voskerician planned to erect.

Voskerician claimed in his suit that Zuckerberg countered by offering to purchase the entire lot, saying that he did not want construction in his backyard for 14 months, and saying that if Voskerician agreed, he would refer business to the developer.

According to the Mercury News, Voskerician also claimed that he rejected an offer of $4.3 million from another developer who wanted to take over the deal, giving Zuckerberg a discount in anticipation of the future deals that would result from introductions and referrals.

David Draper, an attorney for Voskerician, admitted to the newspaper that the agreement regarding introductions and referrals was never put in writing, adding:

Here’s this guy who built his business on connections and relationships, and all he had to do was make some introductions, but he blew my client off.

Patrick Gunn, an attorney for Zuckerberg, called the suit “meritless” and told the Mercury News:

The description of the meeting that took place is unrecognizable to my client. The claim here is just meritless, plain and simple.

Readers: How do you think this case will play out?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.