Showing posts with label Madoff/Wilpon Case. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Madoff/Wilpon Case. Show all posts

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mets Owners agree to pay $162 Million to settle lawsuit


The owners of the New York Mets agreed to pay $162 million to settle a lawsuit by the trustee seeking money for the victims of Bernard Madoff's fraud, a deal that eases pressure on the owners of the cash-strapped baseball team.

The settlement calls for payments over a five-year period and Wilpon and Katz will not have to pay any cash until the fourth year. The $162 million could end up being mostly paid with money returning to the owners' Sterling Equities firm as a result of being a victim of the fraud.

Mike Francesa Talks Law Expert Steve Kallis on WFAN

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mets Chronicle Fan Poll: Who are you routing for in court?


Tomorrow is a big day in court for the Wilpon Family and all Mets fans will be watching for the result.

Judge Rakoff earlier this month determined that Picard may recover up to $83 million in fraudulent profits that Wilpon, Katz and their associates gained from dealings with Madoff. The plaintiff is seeking as much as $303 million more, which will be decided upon by the jury.

Last week, Rakoff ordered that the defendants and not the plaintiff will have the burden of proof, meaning lawyers for the defendants will be charged with proving Wilpon and Katz knew nothing of Madoff's illegal investments and that there were no warning signs they ignored.

Many Mets Fans have expressed that they would like to see the Wilpon Family fall on their face and be forced to sell the team by MLB. Many like myself just hope this suit goes away like a bad wort and the Mets can continue with their plan that is in place and just be back to playing baseball.

Here is your chance to vote in our Mets Fan Poll Below:

Who are you routing for in court?


  
pollcode.com free polls 

As in all our polls, they will be in right side bar for your voting pleasure, Enjoy!

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.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Judge sets rules for Mets - Madoff case


Nine jurors will decide whether the New York Mets owners have to pay $303 million to the trustee liquidating Bernard Madoff’s former firm in a trial to begin March 19 in Manhattan.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff set the number of jurors and other ground rules for the trial of trustee Irving Picard’s claims against Mets owners Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and a group of related defendants.

Rakoff ruled this week that the Mets defendants must give up as much as $83 million in fictitious profits from Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and face a trial over whether they acted in bad faith, a decision that could cost them $303 million more, he said.

The parties said they expect the trial to take 10 days, which may result in a verdict before the team opens the season against the Atlanta Braves on April 5.

Rakoff, saying it’s difficult for jurors to absorb too many facts at the start of a trial, said he will limit opening statements by each side to 45 minutes. Rakoff said he’s reluctant to ask jurors to decide too many individual questions in their verdict, saying they tend to take “holistic views of cases.”

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.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Judge will decide by March 5th if the Madoff-Mets case needs to go further


According to the Associated Press, A judge said Thursday he'll decide by March 5 if a trial is necessary to decide if the owners of the New York Mets were willfully blind to the multibillion-dollar fraud by financier Bernard Madoff.

US District Judge Jed Rakoff heard arguments from lawyers for more than two hours, questioning both sides at length. Afterward, he announced he'll take a few more days to decide whether a March 19 trial is necessary to decide the validity of claims by a trustee recovering money for cheated investors.

The court-appointed trustee, Irving Picard, sued the Mets owners, saying they had to know Madoff was acting illegally. Rakoff has already limited what the team's owners might have to pay to other Madoff investors to $386 million. The trustee had sought $1 billion.

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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good News for Freddy Wilpon, Judge denies appeal from Trustee in Mets Madoff Trial


A U.S. District Judge denied an appeal Tuesday from the trustee seeking to recover funds from Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, limiting the potential liability of Mets owners at trial to no more than $386 million.

Judge Jed Rakoff stood firm on his September ruling, keeping trustee Irving Picard from recovering more than the $386 million in principal and fictitious profits that Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz made in the two years prior to Madoff's exposure as a fraud. Picard had been seeking $1 billion on the standard that as longtime investors, Wilpon and Katz should have known about Madoff's fraud.

Even after Tuesday's ruling, Picard will need to prove that Wilpon and Katz knew of Madoff's fraud before his conviction in order to collect more than $83.3 million in fictitious profits from the Mets owners.

The Mets have not officially commented on the ruling.

A trial date is set for March 19. Rakoff said he did not want to grant Picard's appeal, because it would delay that trial date and slow the case's resolution.

The Mets are currently working to close on the sale of multiple $20 million minority ownership stakes. Parent company Sterling Equities holds an outstanding $25 million loan from Major League Baseball and a $40 million bridge loan from Bank of America.

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.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mets Owners to settle on secondary Madoff-related lawsuit


A second lawsuit brought against New York Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon and family related to Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme is nearing a settlement, the parties acknowledged in a letter to District Court Judge Paul A. Crotty.

The widow of a former employee of Wilpon's Sterling Equities Associates filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in July 2010 alleging the real-estate company, which owns the Mets, and several of its top executives bear responsibility for letting employees put more than $16 million in 401(k) assets into accounts controlled by the now-jailed financier Madoff.

The lawsuit, which sought class-action status, contended that $16.2 million of the 401(k)'s $17.6 million in assets were invested with Madoff. It alleged that Wilpon had fiduciary responsibility for that decision on the grounds that Sterling Equities and several of its top executives should have known that Madoff was carrying out a massive Ponzi scheme that cost thousands of investors billions of dollars. Madoff, 73, revealed the fraud in December 2008, pleaded guilty to fraud charges and is serving a 150-year prison sentence.

The lawsuit said its plaintiff, Elyse S. Goldweber, was the beneficiary of the 401(k) plan built by her late husband, David A. Sloss. It said the majority of $280,420 in her husband's retirement plan was directly invested with Madoff "and has now been wiped out."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Madoff's Family may keep about $82 Million under Mets ruling


Ruth Madoff 
Bernard L. Madoff’s family would keep about $82 million of “other investors’ money” under a ruling that limited a bankruptcy trustee to claiming from the owners of the New York Mets only two years of withdrawals from the Ponzi scheme, according to a court filing.

The confidence man’s family took out $141 million in the six years before Madoff’s firm went bankrupt in 2008, of which less than $59 million was taken in the two years before the bankruptcy, trustee Irving Picard said in a filing. Many other investors are trying to hang onto “stolen” money from fictitious trading that belongs to customers who took losses in the fraud, he said.

Picard wrote about the Madoff family in court papers filed after U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff told him to explain why another investor, James Greiff, shouldn’t keep money he says he took “in good faith” from the Ponzi scheme. Rakoff’s Madoff caseload includes Picard’s suits against the Mets owners and Greiff.

The trustee’s argument “is good for two reasons,” said Nancy Rapoport, a bankruptcy-law professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in an e-mail. “It puts the amount of money at risk front-and-center, and it explains how easy it would be for people to hide behind fake securities transactions to circumvent bankruptcy law.”

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.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Irving Picard Won't Go Away, Appeals US District Court Judges Ruling..


Douche bag 
The liquidator of Bernard Madoff’s firm assailed a judge’s ruling in a $1 billion lawsuit against the New York Mets owners, saying it “arbitrarily” gave some of the con man’s investors fictitious profits that “all customers were previously denied” by a higher court ruling.

Trustee Irving Picard made the statements in a filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Picard also asked U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff to clear the way for an appeal of his ruling.

Rakoff last month cut Picard’s suit against the baseball team’s owners by two-thirds, saying he could try to reclaim only two years of withdrawals from the Ponzi scheme. The ruling, which would allow Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to keep purported profits resulting from Madoff’s “machinations,” was “in direct contravention” of an appeals court ruling that ruled out account statements as a basis for compensating Madoff investors for losses, Picard said in his Oct. 7 filing.

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