Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
Mets' Owners Mull Selling Part of Team
Friday, January 28, 2011
The Mets' owners may sell a stake in the team because a lawsuit related to their investment with Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff has created financial insecurity, the family said Friday.
The Wilpons, who have owned the Mets for more than 30 years, said on Friday that they may sell a stake in the team to address the "air of uncertainty" about their finances stemming from a suit filed in December by a court-appointed trustee overseeing the Madoff bankruptcy.
"The Mets have been a major part of our families for more than 30 years and that is not going to change," the Wilpons said in a statement. "As we have said before, we are totally committed to having the Mets again become a World Series winner. Our fans and all New Yorkers deserve nothing less."
The trustee, Irving Picard, claims the Wilpons pocketed tens of millions of dollars from Madoff's bogus hedge fund and has demanded nearly $48 million from the family.
Picard has already recovered more than $7 billion dollars from the estate of another Madoff investor, Jeffrey Picower.
Forbes magazine rated the Mets the third most valuable team in baseball last year.