Published On: Thu, Aug 7th, 2014

Facebook Employee Allegedly Confirms Developer Claim in Zuckerberg Suit

Andrea Besmehn - Facebook

A Facebook employee’s email is being used by land developer Mircea Voskerician, who is suing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for reneging on a promise to help him with business networking as part of their alleged real estate deal, Bloomberg reported.

In Voskerician v. Zuckerberg, 114CV264667, Superior Court of the California, County of Santa Clara (San Jose), Voskerician claims he gave Zuckerberg a 40 percent discount on a $4.3 million house, in exchange for a promise of introductions and referrals that would increase his business. Those, Voskerician claims, never materialized.

He’s suing Zuckerberg to get the property back, citing fraud, breach of contract and misrepresentation.

Andrea Besmehn, who is listed online as Assistant-Platform Partnerships and Operations at Facebook, but whose exact connection to Zuckerberg isn’t mentioned in the filing, allegedly wrote in a Nov. 4, 2013, e-mail:

“I just had a quick chat with Mark on this issue – and he said he does remember saying that he would help this guy in a `light’ way. Is there a way when we chat with him that we can find out a way for us (not necessarily Mark) to help him with something small? Also… we’ll have to manage this carefully because we don’t want to give an inch and then…”

The e-mail, cc’ed to a Facebook vice president for marketing, was shown in a court filing on Wednesday, in state court in San Jose, California.

Apparently, based on that message and other ones, an associate of Zuckerberg at Facebook was worried the developer would become at least a public relations risk, if not an outright a security risk.

Besmehn wrote that same day that she thought this problem had to be resolved “before it escalates from either a security or PR standpoint, ” and commented further: “Sounds like he has some expectation about Mark helping him out.”

Besmehn’s messages were cc’ed to Facebook’s executive protection team.

Zuckerberg’s lawyers argued the lawsuit was baseless, but last month a judge refused their request to dismiss it.

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