Madoff Trustee Says Mets Owe $1 Billion
Irving Picard, the court appointed trustee seeking to recover money for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the owners of the New York Mets and their business partners, as reported in the Wall Street Journal. The suit asks for $300 million in fictitious profits that were withdrawn and $700 million in principal withdrawals since 2002. According to the article by Michael Rothfeld and Chad Bray, Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz, their relatives and partners in a real estate business called Sterling Equities Associates ignored warnings about Madoff from multiple sources, including managers at a hedge fund they helped start and an executive at Merrill Lynch. In addition to restructuring their hedge fund to avoid disclosure of their Madoff investments, the lawsuit said that “The Sterling partners were simply in too deep—having substantially supported their businesses with Madoff money—to do anything but ignore the gathering clouds.” The ultimate question will be whether the men behind this beloved sports franchise were victimized by their friend or did they ignore clues of his wrongdoings while he made hundreds of millions of dollars for them at the expense of others.