Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, is under fire for filing legal action against hundreds of Hawaiian citizens.
In 2014, he spent more than $100 million for 700 acres of beachfront in Kauai, Hawaii. However, according to the local law, he shares the land with hundreds of native Hawaiians. And many of them don't even know they own parcels.
Zuckerberg decided to sue to get full ownership of the compound. He also decided to compensate the people he was suing and announced he would permit access to his land for traditional use.
The Hawaiians didn't like it, and the billionaire tried to explain the whole process on his Facebook page. He says his family negotiated with the majority owners of each property and reached a "fair deal."
"As part of Hawaiian history, in the mid-1800s, small parcels [Kuleana lands] were granted to families, which after generations might now be split among hundreds of descendants. There aren't always clear records, and in many cases, descendants who own 1/4 percent or 1 percent of a property don't even know they are entitled to anything," wrote Zuckerberg.
"To find all these partial owners so we can pay them their fair share, we filed what is called a 'quiet title' action. For most of these folks, they will now receive money for something they never even knew they had. No one will be forced off the land."
The businessman is trying to locate the descendants of native Kuleana farmers who were granted parts of the land between 1850 and 1855. Zuckerberg wants to reach a settlement with the native Hawaiians.
However, many believe that kamaaina families will be forced to sell their parcels because they don't have the money for lawyers and expensive legal fees.
According to local reports, the CEO of Facebook and his 700-acre compound are already creating divisions within families. Will Kauai be Mark Zuckerberg's Hawaiian nightmare?