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Madoff Trustee Is Seeking $300M From NY Mets Owners, Per Lawsuit Made Public Today

Posted Feb 4, 2011 1:50 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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It wasn't merely $48 million that a bankruptcy trustee winding up the affairs of convicted swindler Bernard Madoff was seeking in a lawsuit filed in December against the owners of the New York Mets. It was $300 million, say news reports today.

That amount represents the "fictitious profits" allegedly reaped from some 200 Madoff investment accounts held by the team, its owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, and at least one other business owned by the two men, money which allegedly helped fund the day-to-day operations of the Mets, reports the New York Times.

As the Madoff money machine made both men rich, they looked the other way toward repeated warnings that their so-called investment accounts might be benefitting from a fraud, contends the lawsuit, which was filed by trustee Irving Picard.

After settlement negotiations broke down, both sides petitioned the federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan to make the complaint public. It was unsealed today, reports NBC New York.

Among the articles that link to a copy of the complaint (PDF) is the DealBook blog of the New York Times.

In a written statement today, Wilpon and Katz called the suit "an outrageous strong-arm effort to try to force a settlement by threatening to ruin our reputations and businesses, which we have built for over 50 years.”

They have reportedly been looking for an investor interested in purchasing a minority ownership in the team to help fund a potential settlement with Picard.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Unsealed Madoff Trustee Suit Details $6.4B Claim Against JPMorgan Chase"

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