Valerie Mnuchin claims her penthouse’s potential buyers exploited the COVID-19 crisis to try and renegotiate the sale contract, which resulted in the co-op board rejecting the deal.

Valerie Mnuchin, socialite sister of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, is suing two potential buyers of her penthouse at 898 Park Ave. in Manhattan for $800,000 after claiming the buyers are at fault for botching the deal, according to the New York Post.

The lawsuit claims that Michael Shaoul and Nirit Weiss were working to close on the apartment, but attempted to “exploit the COVID-19 health crisis as an opportunity to renegotiate the contract price,” and conducted other “bad faith” moves that spurred the penthouse’s co-op board to reject the deal, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.

Under a contract of sale agreement from February 4, Shaoul and Weiss were to purchase the property for $8 million, according to court documents. The three-floor, 4,100 square-foot apartment was originally purchased by Mnuchin back in 2014 for $8.35 million.

However, court documents state that Shaoul and Weiss attempted to lower the sale price of the apartment by $1 million while “calling into question the financial stability of the cooperative” and asking for financials from some of the co-op’s shareholders.

On March 26, the co-op board members rejected the sale, stating that the couple’s “highly unusual” request “was met with disdain” by board members, and that the couple claimed to have lost some of their net worth, but did not provide documentation to back this claim.

Mnuchin, a lawyer who formerly sat on the board of directors of the Child Mind Institute, argues that the $800,000 she seeks would serve as a deposit for the couple’s default of the sale.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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