Streams

Mets Owners Knowingly Made $300M Off Madoff Scheme, Trustee Says

Friday, February 04, 2011

The owners of the New York Mets turned a blind eye to Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, reaping about $300 million in phony profits from that were used to fund the day-to-day operations of the baseball team, documents unsealed in a Manhattan court accused on Friday.

"There are thousands of victim's of Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, but [Mets' president] Saul Katz is not one of them. Neither is [Mets' CEO and Chairman] Fred Wilpon," said Irving Picard, the trustee appointed to record funds for Madoff's burned investors, in a 373-page complaint filed in December.

The two are brothers-in-law and partners at Sterling Equities. Wilpon and Katz have called the suit "an outrageous strong-arm effort to force a settlement." They say they were victims of the fraud.

The complaint also names Mets’ chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and others connected to the Mets and Sterling Equities as defendants.

Fred Wilpon, Katz and their partners at Sterling Equities had 483 accounts with Madoff, and the money ran through every aspect of their business, including their baseball team and real estate assets, the suit alleges. The lawsuit also alleges the Mets' owners used that money to secure hundreds of millions in loans and lines of credit. 

The Madoff trustee accused the defendants of ignoring red flags, such as a warning from a consultant who said he "couldn't make Bernie's math work and something wasn't right." 

The suit has cast a cloud over the Mets ownership, which has said it's exploring a partial sale of the team.

Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term.

Tags:

More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.

Sponsored

Latest Newscast

 

 

Support

WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public

Feeds

Supported by