The Real Deal Los Angeles

Mauricio Umansky hit with 2nd lawsuit over massive Malibu mansion

The plaintiff — who is vice president of Equatorial Guinea — claims the Agency executive tricked him into selling for millions less than the home was worth
By Natalie Hoberman |
Research by Haru Coryne
March 14, 2019 05:17PM

From left: Mauricio Umansky and Teodoro Obiang with the Sweetwater Mesa Road property (Credit: Getty Images)

This Malibu mansion has caused nothing but misery.

The vice president of Equatorial Guinea has sued Mauricio Umansky and his Beverly Hills brokerage, the Agency, in a case that tracks back to the 2016 sale of a 15,000-square-foot estate on Sweetwater Mesa Road.

In the lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday, Teodoro Nguema Obiang — who is the Central African country’s vice president — claims Umansky tricked him into selling the massive Malibu property for far less than it was worth. Obiang filed the suit through his LLC, Sweetwater Malibu CA. Page Six first reported the suit.

In the filing, Umansky is accused of intentionally misrepresenting the value of the home when he led Obiang to sell it for $32 million. The money went to another of Umansky’s clients, Mauricio Oberfeld. Obiang contends that Umansky — who co-founded the Agency — withheld higher offers to conspire with Oberfeld.

According to the suit, once Obiang sold the home, Oberfeld and Umansky flipped it a year later for $70 million, a near record at the time for the area.

Obiang — whose father has been president of the country for 40 years — is suing Umansky and the Agency for damages and any profits made from that sale.

The story is further complicated by the fact that Obiang had demanded $8 million from Umansky’s insurer, Western World Insurance, contending that was the amount he was owed for the alleged impropriety. Western World, in turn, sued Umansky last August in an effort to avoid paying any damages. That suit was dropped in October.

It all dates back to 2011, when the U.S. government accused Obiang of using stolen funds from Equatorial Guinea to buy the home. Obiang and the Department of Justice then agreed in 2014 that any proceeds from a home sale would be distributed to Equatorial Guinea and the U.S.

A lawyer for Obiang did not comment.

A spokesperson for Umansky said he and the Agency acted in good faith in the sale. “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,” said the spokesperson, Laura Stace. She added that Umansky and the Agency “will vigorously defend themselves against these warrantless allegations.”