A 2016 sale of a Malibu mansion has been causing serious trouble for star real estate agent Mauricio Umansky — this week, the The Agency CEO and Real Housewives husband has been hit with another lawsuit over the property.
Teodoro Nguema Obiang, who is the current vice president of Equitorial Guinea, accuses Umansky and The Agency of tricking him into selling a Malibu mansion for far below its actual price. As first reported by Page Six of the New York Post, the 15,000-square-foot estate on Sweetwater Mesa Road was bought by Mauricio Oberfeld for $32.5 million.
Filed by Sweetwater Malibu LLC, the suit alleges that the house could have been sold for as much as $70 million, over twice as much. Obiang had to sell the house as part of a deal with the U.S. Justice Department to reimburse Equatorial Guinea’s government for Obiang allegedly using stolen funds. Obiang went to The Agency for the job, but claims that Umansky withheld higher offers in order to conspire with Oberfeld to flip the house for $69.9 million one year after Oberfeld bought it.
“Defendants violated virtually every one of these duties, by engaging in blatant acts of self-dealing, earning secret profits, and both failing to disclose and outright misrepresenting material facts,” reads the suit, which demands compensation for damages and any money made from the sale.
Obiang, whose father has been president of Equitorial Guinea for 40 years, also claimed Western World Insurance owed him $8 million last year. The insurance company, which Umansky had used and later turned to for protection against the suit, sued him to avoid responsibility in the lawsuit. To further thicken the plot, Umansky then went on to sue Western World Insurance before the company dropped the lawsuit against him in October.
Umansky, who is also the husband of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards, and The Agency have plans to “vigorously defend themselves in court,” an Agency spokesperson told Inman.
The company provided the following statement:
“The Agency and Mauricio Umansky exerted the highest level of integrity and honesty in this transaction, as they do in representing each of their clients. The Agency and Mr. Umansky conducted the Sweetwater transaction under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice, as part of an agreement between the seller and the United States Government,” an Agency spokesperson said. “The Justice Department’s approval was required in each step of this unique transaction. The Agency and Mr. Umansky deny Sweetwater Malibu CA, LLC’s claims and will vigorously defend themselves against these warrantless allegations.”
Inman will continue to cover news of this lawsuit as it unfolds. This article has been updated to include a statement from The Agency.