Date
23 August 2017
Mark Zuckerberg says a real-estate developer is trying to extort him over a land purchase deal. Photo: Bloomberg
Mark Zuckerberg says a real-estate developer is trying to extort him over a land purchase deal. Photo: Bloomberg

Facebook’s Zuckerberg accuses property developer of extortion

Lawyers representing Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg have accused a real-estate developer who owned the rights to a property behind Zuckerberg’s house of trying to extort the billionaire. 

The charges against Mircea Voskerician came after the property developer filed a case against Zuckerberg alleging that the later had failed to keep his promises with regard to a deal, CNN Money reported.

Voskerician, who had owned the rights to land adjoining Zuckerberg’s backyard in 2012, had planned to start construction on a new mansion. But he later offered to sell his interest in the land so that Zuckerberg can gain more privacy.

Voskerician said he agreed to sell the land to the Facebook chief for US$1.7 million “plus [Zuckerberg's] promises of personal referrals and business promotion activities”.

The property developer had apparently wanted Zuckerberg to introduce the developer to Silicon Valley friends and associates and providing referrals to help boost his business, the report said. 

Voskerician claims Zuckerberg hasn’t kept the promise.

Zuckerberg’s attorneys say their client never made any such concrete promises, and that Voskerician is using “extortive” measures.

A trial date in a California state court is scheduled to be set next month. 

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RC

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