The Mountain has been shopped around and has a troubled past. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the property was purchased by the sister of the shah of Iran in the 1970s, and then sold to Merv Griffin. Herbalife founder Mark Hughes then stepped in and bought it for $8.7 million in 1997, making it the most expensive property sold in America at the time, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Hughes died suddenly in 2000, leaving it to a trust. The trust sold it to a company called Tower Park Properties, which included among its investors a mystery Middle Eastern investor and a convicted felon, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In 2015, Tower Park Properties began quietly marketing the property for $1 billion, with its own sales website. Later in 2015, the company denied the property had never been listed.
A massive court battle between the trust and Tower Park led to the property being transferred in 2015 to a company called Secured Capital Partners, which is currently selling the property. The marketing materials say Victorino Noval, who was general manager of Secured Capital Partners and had been part of Tower Park Properties, “has no responsibilities with respect to this property.”
The marketing materials say his son, Franco Noval, is the “manager of the LLC that owns the property.”
Victorino Noval pleaded guilty to tax evasion and mail fraud in 1997 and went to federal prison for three years. A lawsuit last year accused him of fraud, but was dismissed in May.
Ronald Richards, a lawyer for Secured Capital Partners, said in an email to CNBC that the most recent fraud lawsuit was “meritless” and had no relationship to The Mountain property.