Billionaire divorce: couple battles over Silicon Valley real estate holdings

Google’s Scott Hassan and Allison Huynh are fighting for ownership of multiple properties

Scott Hassan and Allison Huynh (XPRIZE, LinkedIn via Huynh, Getty)
Scott Hassan and Allison Huynh (XPRIZE, LinkedIn via Huynh, Getty)

When billionaires get divorced, what happens to all of their shared properties? In the case of Google founder Scott Hassan, that will be decided by a court starting later this month.

Hassan and his wife Allison Huynh have been locked in a legal battle over how to divide their estate, which includes properties and investments worth billions of dollars, the New York Times reports.

Huynh claims that she supported their family in the early days of their marriage, which began in 2001, because Hassan was $60,000 in debt. Hassan refutes these claims.

Shortly after Google went public, Hassan — who owns more than 160,000 shares of the company — offered Huynh less than 10 percent of those shares and a portion of the couple’s real estate properties in Palo Alto, San Francisco and Menlo Park in exchange for her waiving any future claims to their marital assets but she refused.

After that, they moved into a 7,500-square-foot home in Palo Alto, valued at $20 million. Huynh and their children currently reside in that home.

Hassan reportedly ended the marriage in 2013 via a text message that informed Huynh that their relationship was over and he was moving out.

Since the couple officially separated in January 2015, they have been feuding over different parts of their estate. Huynh successfully stopped the sale of Hassan’s robotics firm, Suitable Technologies, to a Danish company for $400,000. Huynh, who is a shareholder of the company, claimed Hassan was selling the company below market value. After the sale fell through, Suitable filed for bankruptcy.

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The couple’s marriage was officially dissolved in May 2020 and the two agreed to joint custody of their three children.

The upcoming trial is part of a long process that will divide the estate and resolve other financial matters including spousal support. California is one of only nine states where assets acquired during marriage are divided evenly in a divorce.

One of the focuses of the litigation is a limited liability company called Greenheart Investments, which Hassan formed five years into their marriage. Huynh’s lawyers said the company had invested in more than 30 real estate properties — among other things — including a 195-unit apartment complex in Menlo Park.

Huynh says Greenheart should be considered community property because Hassan “repeatedly muddied the line between his assets and their shared property,” but his lawyers plan to argue the property should be considered separate property because it was started with his “premarital assets.”

The trial is set to begin Monday, August 23 in Santa Clara County.

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