300-year farm family future in limbo after East End legal kerfuffle

October 22, 2010 12:00PM

The White farm (source: Southampton Press)

A Sagaponack family claims they were hoodwinked into losing their farm, which has been in their family for 300 years, after signing a complicated legal agreement with a Houston-based attorney and oilman, according to the Southampton Press. The White family, one of the oldest farm families in the Hamptons, enlisted the help of the Texan legal eagle, Anthony Petrello, to protect their oceanfront property, offering in exchange a deal to sell 9.5 acres of the farm to the attorney for $2 million. Now, 15 years after striking the deal, the Whites say they were scammed into signing a far more complicated document than they realized. Petrello has sued the Whites, claiming that the aforementioned document entitles him to 24 acres of the farm and that the Whites’ failure to hand over the land has cost him rental profit. Petrello is seeking $5 million to compensate for the alleged lost revenue. [Southampton Press]