Mark Zuckerberg is in the midst of an increasingly revealing legal battle regarding a home purchase he made in 2013.
Zuckerberg reportedly scooped up the four houses adjacent to his Palo Alto home when he heard that a developer planned to build a large, 9,600-square-foot house on one of the lots behind his property.
The developer reportedly told Zuckerberg that the house he planned to build would have a direct view into Zuckerberg’s home, including the master bedroom.
But in May 2014, the developer, Mircea Voskerician, filed suit against Zuckerberg, claiming that the billionaire never followed through on an agreement the two had made in secret.
According to court filings, Voskerician had made Zuckerberg an offer that would preserve his privacy: He would sell Zuckerberg the entire property if the Facebook billionaire would introduce the developer to his important Silicon Valley contacts.
According to Voskerician’s suit, the two parties agreed on this, though it was never put in writing.
In the latest court filings, John Forsyth James, a real estate agent for Voskerician, indicated that this story was true.
At the time of Voskerician and Zuckerberg’s meeting, the developer had already received an offer for $US4.3 million to take over his contract to purchase the property.
According to James’ statement, which was reported on by the New York Times, Zuckerberg told Voskerician he “could offer him a relationship if he were to agree to a discount.”
James said that Zuckerberg “would introduce Mr. Voskerician to other influential people (including persons associated with Google, Facebook and Apple) who might be interested in real estate or other transactional relationships.”
Zuckerberg eventually paid $US1.7 million for Voskerician’s interest in the property, a big discount compared to the $US4.3 million offer the developer had received.
At the end of the meeting, James said, Zuckerberg’s real estate agent, Terri Kerwin told them, “Mark always keeps his promises.” Earlier in the negotiation process, Kerwin had referred to Zuckerberg as “just a kid,” James said.
Voskerician’s suit centres on the fact that Zuckerberg never made the introductions promised in their deal.
“Ultimately, Mr. Zuckerberg failed to honour his promise,” James said in his statement.
Emails between Zuckerberg and his inner circle indicate that the Facebook chief had no intention of helping Voskerician other than in a “light” way.
Another new document requests access to Zuckerberg’s financial information, according to the New York Times.
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