Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Mets Owners add Sandy Koufax to list of witnesses in Madoff Case
Koufax will be called to testify in the upcoming trial that pits the cash-strapped ball club against the bankruptcy trustee for Bernie Madoff victims.
The trustee, Irving Picard, is trying to claw back $303 million from the Mets owners, accusing them of “turning a blind eye” to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. The case goes to trial in Manhattan civil court next Monday.
The 76-year-old Koufax — the youngest person to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame when he was elected in 1972 — is a longtime friend of Fred Wilpon, the team’s owner. The famed Dodgers southpaw is among a dozen or so people who will testify on behalf of the team, according to the witness list released Tuesday.
The Mets also plan to call Robert Morgenthau, New York’s famed district attorney from 1975 through 2009.
Picard late Monday moved to block both Koufax and Morgenthau from testifying, court documents show.
Mets controller, Leonard Labita, will be called to testify for Picard’s opposing team.
The trustee wants to use Labita’s testimony to prove that Wilpon and his brother-in-law, Saul Katz, were so convinced that Madoff would churn out positive and steep returns that they relied on him to help pay for all kinds of expenses, including players’ salaries.
Wilpon and Katz will also testify, with Katz named on both witness lists.