Madoff trustee sues Mets’ owner to recoup $300M

By Reuters
Posted Feb. 4 at 12:35 p.m.

The owners of the New York Mets were accused of reaping $300 million of fictitious profits from Bernard Madoff’s record Ponzi scheme, a lawsuit by the trustee seeking money for Madoff’s victims said.

In the 365-page suit unsealed¬† Friday, the trustee, Irving Picard, said the partners at Sterling Equities, including the Mets’ Fred Wilpon, “were simply in too deep — having substantially supported their businesses with Madoff money — to do anything but ignore the gathering clouds.”

Picard said the baseball team had 16 Madoff accounts from which it withdrew more than $90 million of bogus profits to fund day-to-day operations.

In a joint statement, Wilpon and Saul Katz, Sterling’s co-founders,¬† called Picard’s lawsuit “an outrageous strong-arm effort” to coerce a settlement and ruin their reputations and businesses.

They said they never knew or suspected that Madoff ran a Ponzi scheme and will defend against the lawsuit.

Wilpon repeated that he may sell part of the Mets as a result of Picard’s litigation.

The case is Picard v. Katz et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.

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