NEW YORK (Reuters) - A top Lazard Ltd banker has been sued for allegedly skipping out without paying $165,000 for the summer rental of a luxury home in New York’s Hamptons.
Matthieu Pigasse, Lazard’s vice chairman for Europe, was accused of fleeing the beachfront home in Southampton, New York, on August 23, two days after beginning the three-week rental.
The plaintiff, Kandinsky Escape LLC, accused Pigasse of “tactless conduct in the ditching of plaintiff’s Hamptons luxury rental home after only a two day stay without paying any rent or a security deposit, as promised.”
Kandinsky cited a published report in the New York Post quoting the property’s broker, Jack Prizzi, as saying it was a “mistake” to let Pigasse into the home without having him first pay a deposit or sign a contract, and that Pigasse “didn’t like the house because it didn’t look like the pictures.”
Pigasse this year led a group to acquire the French newspaper Le Monde. He did not immediately return a call to his office in Paris seeking comment. Lazard spokeswoman Elizabeth Woodworth also did not immediately return a call for comment.
Prizzi and his employer Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate are also defendants in the complaint, which was filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. The lawsuit seeks to recover the $165,000 allegedly owed.
According to property records, Kandinsky in April 2008 paid $20 million for the four-bedroom, three-bathroom Southampton home, which was built the prior year and designed by the architect Norman Jaffe. The 4.1-acre property also has a gunite pool, property records show.
Southampton is located roughly 95 miles east of New York City and is a popular summer getaway for the wealthy.
The case is Kandinsky Escape LLC v. Pigasse et al, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 651846/2010.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel and Elinor Comlay in New York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz