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Another Clash At Kleefield Restaurant; Eviction Notice Still To Be Served

Originally Posted: June 11, 2009

Kelly Carroll

  |   29 Comments · Print Article

Police were again called to the Madame Tong's property in Southampton Thursday due to the on-going ownership dispute between Ed "Jean Luc" Kleefield, above, and Lyle Pike. Photos by Kelly Carroll

Southampton - In yet another round of controversy between restauranteur Ed "Jean Luc" Kleefield and his financier Lyle Pike of LGP Foundations, Southampton Village police were once again called to the now infamous Madame Tong's property on Thursday, June 11 to resolve the dispute of ownership between the two men.

"This is spiraling out of control and has taken up too much time," Southampton Village Police Chief William Wilson asserted after speaking to both Kleefield and Pike Thursday afternoon. "This is ridiculous. It's a waste of time, and you can quote me on that."

Lyle Pike, left, and Kleefield were both warned by Chief William Wilson that violating civil law would land them both in jail.


Back in April, Kleefield was arrested in Southampton Village and charged on two counts of writing bad checks - totaling almost $300,000 - for the purpose of repaying loans handed over by Pike which were used to help finance Kleefield's restaurants, including Sag Harbor's Grappa Wine Bar and JLX Bistro, Prime 103 in East Hampton, and Madame Tong's in the village of Southampton. After Kleefield's arrest, he was released on $1,000 bail, clashing again with Pike on Friday, April 24, over ownership of the Southampton eatery on Elm Street.

Just before Memorial Day Weekend, the two men again were embroiled in a dispute over ownership, threatening the restaurant's weekend opening. Since then, according to the manager of the restaurant, the business has been running consistently.

"All I want to do is work," the manager said as he smoked a cigarette while standing on the steps of Madame Tong's, along with some of the restaurant's kitchen staff. "This is an on-going battle."

Kleefield is reported to have written the bad checks to Pike sometime in September 2008. In response, Pike has claimed ownership of the Southampton property. According to Chief Wilson, a notice of eviction was issued in favor of Pike by the Southampton Town Justice Court Thursday, however, that notice has not been served to Kleefield by the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department, something that could take more than a week.

Police were called to the scene mid-afternoon by an unknown female. While there, officers had to inform a locksmith that he was not allowed to change the building's locks. "This is something that should be decided in the courts," Chief Wilson asserted. "The New York State court system will determine who the owner is."

While an eviction notice has been issued by the Southampton Town Justice Court, it has yet to be served to Kleefield by the Suffolk County Sherriff's Department.


Chief Wilson ordered the two men, as well as their lawyers, to take a walk-through of the property, noting that the condition of the property must be the same once the eviction notice is given to Kleefield. Until then, he advised, all parties should stop calling the police department. "I have three detectives with 100 man hours on this," Wilson could be overhead saying to the two men. "If anyone violates civil law, they will be immediately placed in jail."

Later, the chief asserted, "I would strongly suggest that they stop calling the police. If someone falsely reports an incident, that's something we would look to prosecute."


Guest (XFM88) from Philadelphia says::
Edmond Kleefield was a vile pig at F&M; I'm not at all surprised to hear he's grown up (and out) to be pond scum. I have to say--it was very silly of Ted et al to have any financial dealings with him. Oh and "Jean Luc"...hahahaha, you call yourselves New Yorkers and you fell for that?! I can't believe anyone would continue to refer to him that way--here or otherwise.
Feb 24, 2013 4:20 pm

Guest (MICHAEL STEINBERG) from NEW YORK,NY says::
TEL PERE, TEL FILS
Oct 14, 2011 4:52 pm

Guest (Guest) from Southampton says::
I'm glad this poser JL is out of MT's now. I worked there and always got bad checks from this guy. He was dishonest rude and unintelligent. One of the most sleazy individuals I've ever encountered.
Sep 3, 2010 7:04 am

Guest (Jean Luc) from Manhatten says::
To all my detractors, I find it sad that just because I'm a little late paying you that you would resort to these vicious attacks. I legal problems with this glorified bricklayer/wanna be mobster will soon be resolved in my favor. As you've seen, all of my grand establishments are open. Some have smaller menues, some don't have alcohol, but they're all open. I will be available to speak to anyone of you if you truly have issues with me. For any potential investors, I have a great lease opportunity in the city and plan on opening yet another one of my multi successful restaurants. We're half way towards raising the full two million. Get in while you can. See you all soon. Au revoire. Jean Luc
Jul 17, 2009 11:30 am

Guest (JLsucks) from Nassau County says::
I own a DJ company and worked all of this clowns events from JL in Manhattan, to JL East, JLX and Madame Tongs. Over a 4 year period I must have gotten over 25 bad checks, and 1,000,000 empty promises. He is such a joke. Smoke and mirrors and nothing but lies lies lies. Ed Kleefield cares about nobody other than himself and deserves everything that is coming to him. If this man does not end up doing REAL jail time I will be very disappointed.
Jul 1, 2009 4:42 pm

Guest (jim) from hampton bays says::
I know Lyle and his brother Gary for a long time. They are in the foundation business and work hard at it. They made their money sweating and grinding their way to sucess. I'm kind of outraged that the part time chief at 250k a year can ever make a comment about wasteful spending on anything. He needs to go with jean luc to a new town.
Jun 20, 2009 10:14 pm

Guest (rover) from southampton says::
If you are looking to cash your checks there are filed papers with the court that the law firm Weitz and Luxenburg are partners with the french impersonator Ed Kleefield. Give them a call and see if they can help you out with your bounced checks 1800 476 6070. Or...go after chase who let kleefield write all the bad checks with no reprecutions.
Jun 17, 2009 2:10 pm

Guest (PLAD2112) from Southampton says::
Anyone that backs or extends credit to JL deserves what they get.
Jun 15, 2009 5:33 pm

Guest (max) from southampto says::
This should be called the 2 stooges returns. How bright can Mr. Pike be that he lent this loser all this money only to be in this terrible situation. Both will suffer as the local buzz is to stay away from both men in regard to doing any business.
Jun 15, 2009 1:14 pm

Guest (Bruce) from Sag Harbor says::
Met Lyle Pike once. He is one of the few middle age men who in these times, not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. Lyle is the last guy a con man wants to go up against. He'll be on Luc's back till he comes up with what's owed. Good luck Mr. Pike on the new restaurants you have aquired. You have a lot of support!
Jun 14, 2009 8:45 pm

Guest (K Aventi) from Southampton says::
Good for the Chief. Get the cops on the drunks and DWIs, like the one who wrecked four lives on Memorial Day!
Jun 13, 2009 4:05 pm

Guest (eye/for/eye) from East Hampton says::
Not only did he bilk money from big investors,and his poor employees; there were countless small investors of $5,000 to $100,000 over the last 4 years!! I know many of them. And, what he did to his poor wife and child..............that is another story not to be believed. Please get him out of the Hamptons FOREVER. No one should ever eat at any one of his restaurants. Stay away. He is closed already in East Hampton. Totally washed up in Manhattan. If he loses Madame Tongs, then there is Grappa and JLX in Sag Harbor. Residents should boycott and drive him out!!!
Jun 13, 2009 11:09 am

Guest (Employee 204) from Southampton says::
We used to joke to each other "Dont drop that check" beacause they bounce more then rubberballs or Ed's chins
Jun 13, 2009 10:48 am

Guest (jd) from southampton says::
JAIL JAIL JAIL
Jun 13, 2009 10:38 am

Guest (theguru) from Sag Harbor says::
For all the vendors and employees who have lost money, I am sorry. It took me nearly a year to collect $500 three years ago from JLX. An additional very bad aspect of this con man's work is that two key restaurant spaces in Sag Harbor, right on Main Street, are ruined for another season. Dead, empty. It is an embarrassment to our vibrant community to have dead spaces. And his name isn't "Jean Luc". Its Ed. Always has been. He is a phony. Let's stop calling him by this phony French name. He even sued Jean Luc Le Du and kept him from calling his West Village wine shop "Jean Luc". It is called Le Du's and is excellent. It is time to get this scourge out of our communities and in jail where he belongs. Goodbye and good riddance.
Jun 13, 2009 9:53 am

Guest (Bigjimbo) from East Quogue says::
The Chief of Police, are you kidding me with those comments! Clearly you don't understand the law which clearly has favored Mr. Pike. Mr. Pike could have given the Village Police the eviction notice to be served. Mr. Pike might have an action against the police department for failing to act and protect in the wake of the judicial intervention that Mr. Pike was granted. Ouch!
Jun 13, 2009 9:38 am

Guest (You Can't Hide) from Southampton says::
You would think that DA Spota's office would check into this JL guy. If you read the comments about this column, it appears that this JL guys has a "pattern and practice" of check bouncing that might violate employment and other laws? It's time for "the real sheriff" to come to town and clean up this mess. Maybe a little community service or jail time would humble the likes of this flagrant check bouncer.
Jun 13, 2009 9:09 am

Guest (Another ex-employee) from Sag Harbor says::
Now that Mr. Pike owns JL "Enterprises", and states that he has "legally" owned since Sept 2008. Do I go to him to cash the rubber checks that his "partner" Ed !@$!field has written to me.
Jun 12, 2009 11:41 pm

Guest (bad example ) from all around says::
Jean Luc's actions will give others ideas to do the same. I am sure we will see many like this Ed 'Jean Luc' guy, in the short future since the judicial system wasn't able to stop him, they just let this happen for too long. It is amazing to me how could this go this far. But again this is America anything could happen here right?
Jun 12, 2009 11:29 pm

Guest (Parrishnut) from Bridgehampton says::
What is the difference between what he does and Armed Robbery??? For that he would get years in Jail.. There are MANY scam artist in the Hamptons that prey on people..I myself was a victim,when a renter didn't pay her rent and it took 6 months to evict her, and she did it to someone else after me. All the while she rented multiple rooms and earned many thousands.. nyone who rents in the Hamptons needs to get it all upfront..Or berware the skilled Con artists!!!!
Jun 12, 2009 6:57 pm

Guest (ex employee 3) from Sag Harbor says::
I got bounced checks from JLX for $3500. I don't think I ever see my money. Just wish they cut this conman (Kleefield) much earlier so the damage would be much less.
Jun 12, 2009 6:33 pm

Guest (Justice) from southampton says::
I hope Mr. Lyle Pike accomplish where many had failed. Mr. Kleefield has being denigrating this community for too long. The line of creditors is endless and unfortunately many of them are ex employees that worked hard for their money and never saw a dime of it.
Jun 12, 2009 12:53 pm

Guest (southfork) from southampton says::
100 man hours!!!!!!!! Wow this must the crime of the decade. The chief is right....the police should not have to bother with this situation so they can go back to doing..........whatever it is that earns you six figures a year.
Jun 12, 2009 12:41 pm

Guest (ex employee 2) from East Hampton says::
Start spreading the news he's leaving town, finally the most wanted by his ex employees (all with thousand of dollars in worthless checks) Jean Luc, seems to have getting what he deserve. Even the tellers in Chase branchs know better that checks from his companies are like boomerang (always come back). Took a while to find an opponent but Mr.Pike seems to be up to the hatd task of cleaning the town and for that he has my appreciation.
Jun 12, 2009 12:30 pm

Guest (Pike is my hero!!!) from Southampton says::
The sheriff is in town and his name is Mr.Lyle Pike !! Finally somebody to put an end in this nonsense pyramid scheme. a gypsy with unknown residence, with a rental car always wearing the same clothes and eating like pig pints of ice cream and doughnuts , a restauranteur with no class and no shame that's Jean Luc, a man that has being taking advantage from everyone a compulsive liar that hided for too long behind the gaps of the law. Justice has to be made now without delays. Thank you Mr. Pike for uncover the mask of shame and revelling to the public JL's real face. I wish you all the luck.
Jun 12, 2009 11:24 am

Guest (ex-employee) from Sag Harbor says::
Put him in jail!!! He owns me $2K from the summer of 07. And I was just a server in one of places. 2K is not much compare to what he owns Mr. Pike but it is a lot for me. It took a long time for someone with guts to come like Mr. Pike to kick Jean Luc out from our town.
Jun 12, 2009 11:02 am

Guest (against bouncing restauranteur) from southampton says::
Jean Luc doesn't learn, keeps bouncing checks betraying the confidence of his investidors and commited illegal acts and fraud. Not metion that though he preaches that his employees are his family he left them starving and homeless. Kitchen staff is behind for months. And good for you Lyle look nice in well cut suit, starting to look like a professional restauranteur not like a CON man like Mr.Kleefield.
Jun 12, 2009 10:48 am

Guest (AntiJL) from Southampton says::
I know employes form Jean Luc that have thousands of $$$ in bounced checks. Probably they will never see their $$$. Just don't get it how could Jean Luc get away with all this criminal acts?
Jun 12, 2009 10:43 am

Guest (Heywood) from southampton says::
looks like mr. pike is now in the restaurant business.
Jun 11, 2009 7:04 pm

 

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