Madoff Trustee vs. Mets Owners Case Settled for $162 Million

by Jason Epstein

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times broke the settlement news with these Tweets.

Bloomberg’s Bob Van Voris and Linda Sandler provide more details:

Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and related defendants reached the settlement with the liquidator, trustee Irving Picard, March 16, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said today.

Rakoff ruled on March 5 that the Mets defendants must give up as much as $83 million in so-called fictitious profits from Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and face a jury trial over an additional $303 million. The main question for the trial was to have been whether the owners acted in bad faith when they withdrew money from the brokerage Madoff used to run his swindle.

The Mets owners opposed a jury trial and tried unsuccessfully to get the remaining claims brought by the Madoff trustee, Irving Picard, dismissed after Rakoff cut them back to $386 million from $1 billion.

Picard’s lawyers had said they were confident a jury would find the Major League Baseball club’s owners deliberately ignored the fraud because it benefited their businesses, ranging from the team to real estate.

Apparently, the settlement includes grim news for Mets fans:

In other words, do not expect a sale of the franchise anytime soon. Meanwhile, expect payroll to keep going down. (Sayonara, David Wright?)


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