There is a mass exodus going down over at Mauricio Umansky’s real estate firm, known as the Agency amid his $32 million lawsuit over a shady real estate transaction.
In 2018, four top-ranking Agency employees: Danny Brown, Jay Harris, Leonard Rabinowitz and Jack Friedkin all jumped ship and joined competitor, Hilton & Hyland, reports the The Real Deal.
Hilton & Hyland is owned by Mauricio Umansky’s brother-in-law and enemy, Rick Hilton.
Issues between Mauricio Umansky and Rick Hilton have existed for years — which have caused a serious rift between sisters, Kyle Richards and Kathy Hilton’s families. Mauricio worked for Rick Hilton for many years then left abruptly to start a competitive real estate firm. Rumors swirled that Mauricio left under shady circumstances.
“Rick and his team wouldn’t make Mauricio a partner, even after years of working there and a lot of success. So he left,” one source tells E! News. “Now, Mauricio is not welcome at any Hilton events. It puts Kyle in a terrible position because she always has to choose between her husband and her older sister.”
Then longtime partners, Cindy Ambuehl and David Kelmenson quit in March, followed by managing director Don Heller left, followed by Stephen Sigoloff, director of residential estates, and top producer Dan Urbach walked away over the summer.
To sum up the blood bath that has recently taken place at the Agency — 45 agents have left the firm between January 2018 and June 2019 — many of them big producers. That’s about 15% of the Agency’s licesced brokers.
The departures come as the Agency battles a lawsuit by Sweetwater Malibu LLC, the company owned a Malibu mansion at the center of the lawsuit, according to court documents. Sweetwater Malibu LLC accuses Mauricio and The Agency of violating duties as a real estate broker and fraud.
According to the seller, Mauricio Umansky did not inform Sweetwater Malibu LLC of much higher offers that were made prior to the sale of the mansion. Mauricio also hid the fact that he partnered with the buyer to purchase the property. One year later, Mauricio sold the home for $69.9 million, at a profit of $37 million. He also allegedly never disclosed he had partnered with the buyer to purchase the property.
Sweetwater Malibu is run by Teodoro Mangue, accused Mauricio in their lawsuit of breaching his duties as a real estate agent and believed he did self-dealing and earned secret profits.
Amid Mauricio and the Agency’s legal turmoil, co-founder Billy Rose also stepped down in October 2018.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is currently filming it’s 10th season.