Showing posts with label Fred Wilpon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fred Wilpon. Show all posts

Friday, January 31, 2014

Mets News: The Mets have refinanced their $250 Million Loan


Mets News:


The New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and family, who faced a massive $250 million loan against the team coming due in the next few months, have successfully arranged for it to be refinanced, according to a published report.

The NY Post reported that the refinanced loan will not come due for seven years, freeing the cash-strapped owners from an immediate, burdensome obligation that could put their ownership of the team in peril.

The newspaper added that interest payments will remain about the same for team owners under the new terms. They will not be required to immediately pay down any principal as part of the refinancing agreement -- avoiding the type of immediate lump-sum obligation that could trip them up.

The refinanced loan reportedly also does not restrict the Mets' payroll, whereas the original loan's terms capped how much the Mets could spend on players. The Mets' payroll currently is about $87 million for 2014 -- well below what is customary in a large market such as New York.

The owners have faced financial peril in recent years in part because they invested in swindler Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. They recently sold minority ownership shares in the club in order to pay down debt, including a loan from Major League Baseball.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mets News: Super Agent Scott Boras Bashes Mets Spending Habits



Mets News:


In a report from ESPN NY, Scott Boris bashes the Mets and calls out the Wilpon's and says, They are frugal.

"The Mets are like NASA," Boras said Wednesday afternoon at the GM Meetings. "They have big rockets, a lot of platforms and very few astronauts. Astronauts are hard to find. They've got one guy with the 'Wright' stuff. That's for sure. And they've got a lot of 'Arm'-strongs, too. But they're certainly a club that I'm sure is in a pursuit of a higher level of talent."

On the Mets Willingness to spend:

Well, I think the ability to spend and actually spending are two different things," said Boras, who represents free agents including Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo and Stephen Drew. "And that's only for the Mets to diagnose. Certainly their franchise value has gone through the roof -- they're in the well over $2 billion. They're a very successfully run business operation. The Mets have the ability to pretty much do what they want to do. But it's hard to find astronauts."

Responded Alderson: "I don't think his intergalactic metaphor is exactly right. I'm not sure, because I've got to first understand it."

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mets News: Fred Wilpon on Mets Losing, "I suffer with it"


Fred Wilpon, speaking with Newsday on Monday, said he is confident in Sandy Alderson's plan for the Mets. The 76-year-old principal owner added that things should improve as big salary outlays come off the books.
"We're coming to the end of the time when we have had an overhang of players who got hurt or didn't play well, and I think that Sandy Alderson and his staff have a plan," Wilpon told the newspaper. "I know some people are impatient about it. But they do have a plan and they're executing on their plan and I think things are in the right direction. It's hard to say that when the team loses four, five in a row.

"I get it, I suffer with it. I think that we have to see that plan become successful because in today's world it's not how much money you spend -- although we have invested a lot of money. Some of it has been wasted because right now we have a [large] payroll and 50 percent of the payroll is not playing."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mets News and Notes: Losing Season, Harvey, Wright, Francisco, Knuckleballers, Selig


Mets News and Notes:

The Mets fell to 4-25 at home since the All-Star break and saw their tragic number sliced to two for postseason elimination with St. Louis' win against Houston. The Mets (66-82) also clinched their fourth consecutive losing season. They have scored three runs or fewer in 15 straight home games, three shy of matching the major league record, held by the 1915 Yankees, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Matt Harvey allowed a game-opening homer to Jimmy Rollins and did not surrender another hit in seven innings against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night. But Josh Edgin surrendered a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth to Ryan Howard and the Mets lost, 3-2, in Harvey's final 2012 start.

Harvey is disappointed his season is ending two weeks before his teammates because of an innings limit, but he ended on a solid note. He will not be allowed to throw off a mound on the side during the remainder of the season to work on things -- it's a complete shutdown.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mets News and Notes: Santana, Wilpon, Olson, Wheeler


Mets News and Notes:

Johan Santana insisted his right ankle and pitching shoulder were healthy after he only recorded four outs, matching his shortest career start, which happened to be in Atlanta in April.  The Braves beat the Mets, 9-3, Saturday at Citi Field. The Mets (54-60) dropped a season-worst six games under .500. Santana was charged with eight runs, two shy of his career high.

He assigned his control woes to having not faced major league hitters since July 20. He is now 3-6 with a 7.98 ERA in nine starts since tossing the historic June 1 no-hitter. He has allowed six or more runs in four straight starts, matching Al Leiter (1999) and Pedro Astacio (2002) for the longest such streak in franchise history. It also matches Atlanta's Mike Minor for the longest such streak in the majors this season.

The only pitchers in Mets history to allow at least eight runs and eight hits while retiring four batters or fewer in a game? Calvin Schiraldi (in relief on June 11, 1985 at Philadelphia) and Santana, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“He had trouble with his changeup tonight early, and we got into some counts and got some pitches in the middle of the plate to hit," Chipper Jones said. "We bled a few in, but it was not typical Johan.”

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Wilpon's Sterling Equities and Related Co. are in exclusive negotiations to rebuild Willets Point near Citi Field



According to Bloomberg News, Related Cos. and Fred Wilpon’s Sterling Equities Inc. are in exclusive negotiations for the rights to develop Willets Point, a neighborhood of automotive shops and junkyards near the New York Mets’ ballpark, said a person with knowledge of the talks.

The city of New York is close to reaching a deal with Related and Sterling Equities to build a mall on the site, the New York Observer reported earlier today on its website.

Wilpon and his Sterling partners became sole owners of the Mets baseball team in 2002. In March, Wilpon and Mets President Saul B. Katz, who had invested with convicted Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff, reached a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the liquidator of Madoff’s firm. Related is run by Stephen M. Ross, owner of the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins and developer of Time Warner Center in midtown Manhattan.

“We’re very close to having a deal in place that will transform Willets Point into New York City’s next great neighborhood and continue the historic progress we’ve already made there,” said Julie Wood, deputy press secretary to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

New York City last year issued a request for proposals from builders interested in constructing retail, entertainment, housing and other types of development on the 61-acre (25- hectare) site, which is in Queens across 126th Street from Citi Field, where the Mets have played since it opened in 2009.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wilpons must convince the jury that they did not act in "bad faith" when they profited from Madoff


In a major ruling Wednesday heading into next week's trial, U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff threw a curveball to the defense team in the $386 million lawsuit against Fred Wilpon, his family, businesses and charities.

Five days before jury selection is set to begin in the civil trial in U.S. District Court in lower Manhattan, Rakoff ruled the burden is on the Wilpons to convince a jury they did not act in “bad faith” when they profited from convicted swindler Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

The burden will not be on trustee Irving Picard, who brought the lawsuit, to prove the Wilpons were “willfully blind” to the Ponzi scheme.

Read the ESPN Article for more info

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mets Owners add Sandy Koufax to list of witnesses in Madoff Case


The owners of the Mets have put Hall of Famer pitcher Sandy Koufax on their all-star witness list.

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.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Executive Director of MLBPA Supports Mets Owners


Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, voiced his support for the Mets and their owners Thursday while making his annual visit to the organization’s training complex.

Weiner was asked about the effect the financial troubles and legal issues faced by the Wilpon family, which have hindered the Mets’ spending ability, might have on players throughout the league.

“The Wilpons want to win,” Weiner said. “I don’t know much about the legal circumstance. But the Wilpons have been strong owners, and whatever’s happening outside with respect to them, is happening outside.”

The Mets this year cut their payroll by nearly $50 million. This week the agent Scott Boras suggested that big-market clubs had an ethical obligation to spend money.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Mets may only have to pay $30 Million


According to Bloomburg Businessweek,  the New York Mets may have to pay just $30 million following a court ruling against them, a fraction of the $386 million sought by the trustee representing victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme from the team and related defendants.

Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and other defendants must give up as much as $83 million in fictitious profits from Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and face a trial over whether they acted in bad faith, a decision that could cost them $303 million more, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff ruled.

However, the two main entities that own and operate the baseball team are liable for no more than $30 million of the $83 million, although Wilpon and Katz personally might owe as much as another $11 million, according to court documents. The fraud cost investors an estimated $20 billion in principal, according to Irving Picard, the trustee liquidating Madoff’s investment firm.

“The court remains skeptical that the trustee can ultimately rebut the defendants’ showing of good faith, let alone impute bad faith to all the defendants,” Rakoff said in his ruling in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. “The principal issue remaining for trial is whether the defendants acted in good faith when they invested in Madoff securities in the two years prior to bankruptcy or whether, by contrast, they wilfully blinded themselves to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.”

Monday, March 05, 2012

Mets Owners must pay up to $83 Million


The New York Mets' owners must pay up to $83 million to the trustee recovering
money for Bernard Madoff investors, a judge said Monday, though he expressed doubt that the trustee will succeed in proving at a trial this month that he's entitled to as much as $300 million more.

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff issued his four-page ruling to narrow the subject of a March 19 trial in Manhattan that results from Trustee Irving Picard's effort to force the club's owners to pay as much as $1 billion into a fund established to repay thousands of investors cheated of billions of dollars during Madoff's decades-long fraud.

Last year, Rakoff had ruled that the team's owners wouldn't owe more than $386 million to other Madoff investors. He made it clear then that they would likely owe up to $83 million but said the trustee must prove that the Mets' owners "willfully blinded" themselves to Madoff's fraud to get more.

His ruling Monday determined that the exact amount up to $83 million won't be left to the jury but will be decided by him in a future written decision, likely after he hears more from lawyers on both sides.

Rakoff rejected a request by lawyers for the Mets' owners to say Picard was not entitled to more money, a ruling that would have eliminated the need for the trial.

But he said he "remains skeptical that the trustee can ultimately rebut the defendants' showing of good faith."

He said he was concerned that much of the evidence offered by both sides in court papers so far would not be admissible at trial.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fred Wilpon Speaks Out .....in Port St. Lucie


New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon says he plans on owning the team for a long time despite financial troubles caused by the collapse of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Wilpon said Monday he is optimistic in a favorable outcome in the lawsuit brought by the trustee against the Mets owners to recover money for victims of the scheme.

He expressed optimism that the Mets will host the 2013 All-Star game and said the decision on whether to sign third baseman David Wright to a long-term contract is in the hands of general manager Sandy Alderson.

In regards to the payroll drop the Mets have taken, Wilpon says spending could increase during the season.

For More on what was said go to WFAN.com

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hearing on Thursday could predict Mets Owners Fate in Madoff Case


According to the NY Times, Lawyers for the Mets’ owners and the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud will meet in Manhattan federal court on Thursday, less than a month before a jury trial is scheduled to start.

Both sides have filed motions for summary judgment and a federal judge could decide from the bench and potentially make significant rulings in the multi-million-dollar case against the Mets’ owners.

The legal fight has lasted more than a year. It started in federal bankruptcy court and moved to district court. In total, it has produced thousands of pages of legal filings.

The stakes are high. Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, brothers-in-law and Mets’ co-owners, could be held liable at trial for $83 million to $386 million — and possibly more depending on future appeals.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mets Owners ask judge again to dismiss $386 Million lawsuit



The owners of the New York Mets asked a judge again to dismiss a $386 million lawsuit by the liquidator of Bernard Madoff’s brokerage, saying he distorted the law by alleging they were willfully blind to the fraud.

Madoff trustee Irving Picard hasn’t offered evidence that they believed fraud was probable and deliberately avoided looking into it, they said in a filing yesterday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Separately, the trustee asked the judge to let him claim $83 million from the Mets owners.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Mets Owners will appeal in US Supreme Court


Fred Wilpon and family want the U.S. Supreme Court to change how the trustee is determining winners and losers in the massive Ponzi scheme, Newsday reports.

The Wilpons essentially claim that because they had $500 million on statements with Bernard Madoff when he was arrested and shut down, they lost that amount.

However, lower courts largely have validated trustee Irving Picard's method for determining winners and losers. According to Picard, if you invested more money than you withdrew, you were a net loser. And if you withdrew more money than you invested, you're a winner, even if you thought you had more. If Picard were to rely on Madoff's fictitious statements to investors, pretty much everybody would be a winner, in essence, and there would be nobody who made off relatively OK to collect money from to distribute to people who lost principal.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mets Owners ask Judge to dismiss Madoff Trustee's Case


The New York Mets’ owners asked a judge to dismiss $386 million in remaining claims brought by the trustee liquidating Bernard Madoff’s firm, saying their “early faith” in Madoff was well-founded because of his reputation.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff threw out most of trustee Irving Picard’s $1 billion in claims against the team owners. The judge said Picard must prove they were willfully blind to the convicted Ponzi schemer’s crimes if he wants to recoup money they withdrew from their Madoff accounts, the Mets owners noted. Since Picard hasn’t proved that, he has no case against them, they argued.

“Defendants trusted their broker, Bernard L. Madoff, and never suspected him of any fraud, let alone a Ponzi scheme,” team owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz said in a court filing yesterday. Picard can’t show they believed there was “a high probability” that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme or that they took “deliberate action” to avoid seeing what was going on, they said.

The Mets owners, after losing money in the Ponzi scheme and an income stream from Madoff, have said they are trying to sell stakes in the Major League Baseball team. Picard’s claims remain a threat to their finances.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Mets hire financial group to help balance the books


The Mets confirmed Thursday that they have hired the consulting group involved in the Rangers' bankruptcy sale earlier this year, stressing that they have engaged the firm "to provide services with financial reporting and budgeting processes."

The team acknowledged its involvement with CRG Partners late Thursday night, releasing a 17-word statement that read: "Mets Limited Partnership engaged CRG Partners to provide services in connection with financial reporting and budgeting processes."

Earlier Thursday, general manager Sandy Alderson indicated that the team still expects to close on the first of multiple minority ownership sales, believed to be worth $20 million each, by the end of January. Neither principal owner Fred Wilpon nor partner Saul Katz has ever publicly presented bankruptcy as an option, conversely stressing over the past year that they will do whatever necessary to retain majority ownership of the Mets.

Barring settlement, Wilpon and Katz are scheduled to go to trial in March with the trustee seeking to recover funds from Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. The trustee, Irving Picard, is currently appealing a ruling that reduced the lawsuit's total stake from $1 billion to $386 million.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NY Times: Mets Owners could face jury if Madoff case goes to trial



According to the NY Times, The owners of the Mets will face a jury should there be a trial in the case filed against them by the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud, a federal district judge ruled Wednesday. The Mets’ owners had opposed a jury trial.

The case could be settled before the trial is scheduled to begin on March 19. Both sides are in mediation with Mario M. Cuomo, the former New York governor.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mets Owners Say, "Judge Shouldn't Approve Irving Picard's Appeal"


U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff shouldn't approve the liquidator of Bernard Madoff's firm to appeal a ruling that cut a $1 billion case against the New York Mets owners by two-thirds, the team owners said.

Trustee Irving Picard assailed Judge Rakoff's ruling earlier this month, saying it “arbitrarily” allowed Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to keep fictitious profits from the Ponzi scheme. Mr. Picard asked the judge to make a final ruling so he could appeal, or to allow an appeal before trial. The Major League Baseball team's owners urged Judge Rakoff to reject the request in a court filing.

“There is no hardship or injustice that would result from waiting another six months to raise any and all appealable issues at one time,” Messrs. Wilpon and Katz said in the Oct. 21 filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Picard didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the filing.

Judge Rakoff last month set a March 19 trial date for Mr. Picard's remaining case against the Mets owners after dismissing nine of 11 counts. He said Mr. Picard could try to take back two years of money withdrawn from the Ponzi scheme, or about $386 million.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Owners of the Mets are seeking to avoid a jury trial


The owners of the Mets are seeking to avoid a jury trial in the case filed against them by the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud. The owners could be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in the case.

In papers filed Friday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, lawyers for the team’s owners said that the trustee, Irving H. Picard, “is not entitled to a jury trial” because the two remaining claims arise out of the bankruptcy code. Generally, bankruptcy courts are not authorized to conduct jury trials.

They are saying, in essence, that a case that started in Federal Bankruptcy Court but is now being heard in United States District Court should be tried under bankruptcy rules by Judge Jed S. Rakoff. Picard responded with a request for a jury trial. “Despite the defendants’ trepidation to submit to a jury’s judgment, the trustee’s constitutional right remains,” his filing said. “Nothing here impedes that.”

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