A wealthy finance executive and his wife have hoarded up a Hamptons mansion and won’t leave even though their lease has expired, a lawsuit alleges.
Paul Pion, chief administration officer at the financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald, and his wife, Stephanie, have reportedly been renting the $5m home in Water Mill, Long Island for the past two years. But the owner says their lease expired on 31 May, and the wealthy couple won’t budge.
The Independent has reached out to Mr Pion through his company for comment, but has not immediately heard back.
“They aren’t leaving, and it looks like an episode of Hoarders,” a source with knowledge of the situation told the New York Post.
A new buyer was ready to close on the house by 15 June, the lawsuit says, but the Pions’ alleged refusal to leave has put the sale “in jeopardy.” According to the owner, the couple is disingenuously using a Covid-era moratorium on evictions to stay at the property.
“Defendants are conducting themselves in a bad faith, dishonest and manipulative way to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic and the mass confusion and gridlock in the lower courts in an effort to, among other things, block the impending sale of the Premises,’’ say court papers filed with the Suffolk County Supreme Court.
Mr Pion has adamantly denied all of the lawsuit’s allegations, telling the Post they’re “completely false.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, New York State has blocked the eviction of tenants facing financial or medical “hardship” due to the coronavirus. But that moratorium was designed for low-income renters, the lawsuit argues – not “ultra-wealthy” people like the Pions, who have been renting their mansion for $10,000 a month.
“I don’t understand. They have money,” the Post’s source said. “The owner filed a lawsuit but can’t evict them because of Covid. That makes sense if you don’t have money. But the Hamptons market is hot, and there are plenty of properties to rent or buy.”
The lawsuit goes on to accuse the Pions of damaging the property with “unauthorized alterations, misuse and overuse of the household systems and lack of routine maintenance.”
It also notes that an appraiser who visited the mansion reported “that the house was a mess”.