The Facebook Founder and billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg is facing yet another controversy and this time it has to do with the private beach property Mark had invested in Hawaii. According to the sources, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla had invested into a private beach property in Hawaii which is a huge portion of land with beach frontage measuring around 700 acres (28 Lac Sqmt.) coasting whopping 100 million US Dollars (650 crore INR). The sources in the Business Insider has revealed that the Facebook billionaire is suing hundreds of Hawaiians having the legal ownership (ancestral rights) on the said land and are not ready to vacate the same.
This may not be the first case that any investor had to face the resistance of tenants in the big piece of land development but when it comes to Mark Zuckerberg the matter automatically becomes more sensitive. The media reports amounted into raising the question mark on the temperament of the Facebook founder. According to the sources, the Facebook owner suing Hundreds of Hawaiians to make them vacate the parcels of the land they own in the estate brought by him.
The media reported that, the estate brought by Mr. Zuckerberg is the part and parcel of hundreds of tenants who owns the several portions of the lands in the same and three holding companies controlled by Zuckerberg filed 8 lawsuits in local court on December 30 against families that collectively inherited 14 parcels of land through the Kuleana Act, a Hawaiian law established in 1850 that gave natives the right to own the land they lived on for the first time. The 14 parcels total just 8.04 of the 700 acres Zuckerberg owns, but the law currently gives any direct family member of a parcel’s original owner the right to enter his otherwise private compound. Only one of the parcels is currently being used by retired professor named Carlos Andrade, who has joined Zuckerberg as a co-plaintiff in the lawsuits, says the reports.
According to the sources, the lawsuits are designed to identify all the property owners and make them enable to sell their ownership stakes at the auction. According to Keoni Shultz, a lawyer representing Zuckerberg, the ownership stakes are passed down and divided among family descendants by the state, many people don’t realize they have a claim until action is taken against them in court. “It is common in Hawaii to have small parcels of land within the boundaries of a larger tract, and for the title to these smaller parcels to have become broken or clouded over time,” Shultz told Business Insider in a statement. “In some cases, co-owners may not even be aware of their interests. Quiet title actions are the standard and prescribed a process to identify all potential co-owners, determine ownership, and ensure that, if there are other co-owners, each receives appropriate value for their ownership share.” According to the sources, this not the first time that Zuckerberg has taken steps to fortifying his Kauai property. Last year he angered neighbors by constructing a rock wall that blocked their views of the ocean.
Meanwhile, Mark has rubbished all the allegations leveled against him calling it a misleading story. In one of the posts on his Facebook profile page, Mark had rubbished the allegations and provided his part of the story. According to the post-Mark Zuckerberg had posted on his wall about the property and its developments last month that clarify as how he and Priscilla had bought some land in Hawaii and they want to create a home on the island and help preserve the wildlife and natural beauty. (Mark’s Post) The Marks post further states that, “The land is made up of a few properties. In each case, we worked with the majority owners of each property and reached a deal they thought was fair and wanted to make on their own. As with most transactions, the majority owners have the right to sell their land if they want, but we need to make sure smaller partial owners get paid for their fair share too. In Hawaii, this is where it gets more complicated. As part of Hawaiian history, in the mid-1800s, small parcels were granted to families, which after generations might now be split among hundreds of descendants. There aren’t always clear records, and in many cases descendants who own 1/4% or 1% of a property don’t even know they are entitled to anything. To find all these partial owners so we can pay them their fair share, we filed what is called a “quiet title” action. For most of these folks, they will now receive money for something they never even knew they had. No one will be forced off the land. We are working with a professor of native Hawaiian studies and long-time member of this community, who is participating in this quiet title process with us. It is important to us that we respect Hawaiian history and traditions. We love Hawaii and we want to be good members of the community and preserve the environment. We look forward to working closely with the community for years to come,” he stated.
A few years ago, Priscilla and I visited Kauai and fell in love with the community and the cloudy green mountains. We kept coming back with family and friends, and eventually decided to plant roots and join the community ourselves. We bought land and we’re dedicated to preserving its natural beauty. It’s filled with wildlife like pigs, turtles, rare birds and seals, and local farmers use it to grow fruits and spices. I love taking Max to explore and see all the animals, says Mark.
NEWS SOURCE: VARIOUS SOURCES
IMAGE SOURCE: The Telegraph