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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Irving Picard wins appeals court ruling, Wilpon still on the bubble for $1 Billion

The Trustee Irving Picard, liquidating Bernard L. Madoff’s former firm won an appeals court ruling that affirmed his method of determining which investors can recover money lost in the Ponzi scheme.

The federal appeals court in New York said today that trustee Irving Picard can calculate losses by subtracting the amount withdrawn from an investor’s account from the total placed with Madoff, the so-called net investment method.

A group of Madoff victims urged the court to require Picard to use their final account statements, reflecting fictitious profits on money Madoff never invested, to determine losses. Today’s ruling limits the number of victims who can claim money from the fund Picard oversees and reduces the amount of many eligible claims.

“Mr. Picard’s selection of the net investment method was more consistent with the statutory definition of ‘net equity’ than any other method advocated by the parties or perceived by this court,” Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs wrote in the opinion.

Picard has sued investors, banks and others he claims profited from Madoff or should have known of his fraud, seeking a total of about $100 billion. He has raised more than $8.6 billion, or almost half the $17.3 billion in principal he calculates investors lost in the fraud, including a $1 billion settlement with hedge-fund firm Tremont Group Holdings Inc., which was announced July 28.

Money From Accounts

Madoff investors who removed more from their accounts than they invested, including the owners of the New York Mets baseball team, stand to lose from today’s ruling. Picard has claimed $300 million in fictitious profits from a group of defendants tied to Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz. He is also seeking $700 million in principal from Wilpon and Katz, claiming they should have known Madoff was running a fraud.

The Mets owners are seeking to have Picard’s suit dismissed.

Karen Wagner, a lawyer for Wilpon and Katz, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment on the ruling.

Picard’s loss calculation method also reduces the amount of payouts to Madoff investors by the Securities Investor Protection Corp., which reimburses defrauded investors up to $500,000 per account. Picard represents SIPC.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mets News and Notes: Wright, Beltran, Wilpon, Santana, Pagan

Mets News and Notes:

David Wright:

David Wright, who last appeared in a major league game May 15, returns from the disabled list. He appeared in six games for Class A St. Lucie -- four at third base, two at DH -- during a rehab assignment in which he hit .476.

Terry Collins said he would bat Wright fourth against the Marlins on Friday.

With Ruben Tejada in Triple-A and Ike Davis relatively likely to miss the remainder of the season, Daniel Murphy manning first base and Justin Turner manning second base for the majority of games seems the most-likely scenario.

Beltran preferences :

Beltran would prefer to stay in the National League, where he is familiar with the opposing pitchers and he would not be used as a designated, a major league executive told

Beltran tells Newsday's David Lennon he will shy away from teams that want to use him at DH, and will judge where to accept a trade base on the quality of the pitching staff. Still, Beltran told Lennon going to the AL would not scuttle a trade.
"Right now, if it happens that I have to choose, ... then I have to sit down and say you know what, the decision will be based more on the chances of being able to say they have a good pitching staff," Beltran told Lennon.

"Remember, baseball is about pitching, so you want to be on a team where they have a good pitching staff, because those are the guys that are going to get you to the playoffs."
Bringing Back Beltran Next Year?

Sandy Alderson apparently is open to bringing back Beltran in 2012, even after trading him, according to David Waldstein in the Times. That sounds like a long shot, especially if the Mets are successful re-signing Jose Reyes.

Writes Waldstein:

According to two people in baseball familiar with the situation, the team contacted Scott Boras, Beltran’s agent, and asked if he would be amenable to that notion. They were informed that Beltran would be willing to consider the idea of re-signing with the Mets in the off-season, even if he is traded in the coming days. While a re-signing may never happen, especially considering the Mets’ financial problems, the idea that the team is sending out feelers about the possibility of Beltran returning demonstrates how far the Mets and the outfielder have come after their bitter dispute surrounding Beltran’s knee operation 18 months ago.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Mets owners challenge Madoff trustee lawsuit

According to the AP New Wire, New York Mets executives say a lawsuit claiming they had early word about a 25-year fraud carried out by jailed financier Bernard Madoff is ''a fiction.''

Lawyers for Mets team president Saul Katz and others said in a court filing Thursday that the Mets owners were betrayed by a friend and realized a loss of more than a half billion dollars when the fraud was revealed in December 2008.

The court papers noted that Mets owner Fred Wilpon referred to Madoff's confession as ''like a dagger in the heart.''

The papers were filed in response to a lawsuit brought by court-appointed trustee Irving Picard, who has filed more than 1,000 lawsuits seeking to recover billions of dollars lost by investors in Madoff's fraud.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mets could choose winning bidder of minority stake sale in a couple of weeks

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  (L - R) Saul Katz, CEO...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
The Mets are a few weeks from choosing a winning bidder for its minority stake sale, The New York Post reported Saturday.

Several suitors were conducting extensive due diligence, a source close to the Mets said.

The Major League Baseball's owners' meeting was scheduled for May 12, and commissioner Bud Selig would likely be very relieved if the Mets' situation were resolved by that time.

MLB's recent takeover of the cash-strapped Los Angeles Dodgers raised questions on why it was not doing the same with the Mets.

Team owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz were not letting all eight suitors from the second round of the auction see the team's full financials, which is what would typically happen at this stage in an auction.

These suitors, as a result, would likely not be able to make a binding offer in a few weeks should the Mets' preferred bidders fall through, sources said.

Sources close to some suitors suspect that the Mets' auction may not be going as well as advertised, although the Mets maintain that it was.

Suitors who made it past the first round include: former Glencore commodity trader Ray Bartoszek; hedge fund honcho Steve Cohen; a group led by Steve Starker, co-founder of trading firm BTIG; and hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci.
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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Video: Mets are trying to move past Madoff scandal

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Things are getting tight financially, Mets want a deal fast

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  (L - R) Saul Katz, CEO...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Mets owner Fred Wilpon wants to select a minority-share partner by the end of this month, two people with knowledge of the talks said Friday.

There is a sense of urgency about the timetable because the team has mounting financial obligations, starting in June when a payment estimated at $21 million is due on the bonds that financed Citi Field, according to the New York City Industrial Development Agency's most recent audited financial report.

In addition, the Mets took out a $25 million loan from Major League Baseball last November because the team had used up its $75 million line of credit. Forbes magazine has reported the Mets have $450 million in debt.

Money from the partial sale -- estimated at $200 million -- will be earmarked to finance the team's day-to-day operations and to pay down debt, said a person familiar with the sale discussions.

The Mets also must now begin paying salaries to players, who are not paid during the offseason or spring training. The Mets have a 2011 payroll in the vicinity of $140 million, which averages to around $11.6 million doled out every two weeks.

Video: About Potential Buyers

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mets Seeking $200 Million, Eight to Nine Bidders have been approved by MLB

The Major League Baseball logo.Image via Wikipedia
According to the NY Times,  the Mets are seeking $200 million for a minority portion of the team — a badly needed cash infusion that the team’s owners would pour directly into the club’s operations and use to pay off some of their debt, according to a person briefed on the sale process.

The owners of the team are also telling potential bidders that they might sell a portion of SNY, their cable network, but that such a negotiation would take place separately from any deal for the team, and would probably not be seriously contemplated for a year or two.

The owners believe that they can get more for a stake in the profitable SNY if it is not packaged with the team, the person said.

Some of the eight or nine bidders approved by Major League Baseball to bid on the Mets have been identified:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mets getting sued for $1 Billion, Not $300 Million

CNBC's Darren Rovell is reporting that the trustee suing on behalf of victims of Bernie Madoff has amended his complaint against Sterling Equities and Fred Wilpon to seek $1 billion in what he believes are illegal profits earned by the firm through Madoff investments.

The previous complaint was asking for $300 million. According to Rovell, the Mets owners call the charges a "work of fiction."

Irving Picard amended the complaint to account for an "interest- and cost-free" loan given by Madoff to Sterling, which also owns the New York Mets. That loan eventually became SNY, the successful regional cable network ... that the team now can't sell to pay their legal bills.

Trustee: Mets Owner Fred Wilpon Got Interest-Free Loan From Madoff Ponzi Scheme


The trustee recovering money for investors in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme has filed new court papers that he says show the cozy relationship between Madoff and the owners of the New York Mets.

Trustee Irving Picard filed the papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on Friday.

He says Madoff made an interest- and cost-free bridge loan to the Mets' owners to aid the purchase of the broadcast rights for the Mets from Cablevision.

The papers said the transaction was documented by a single-letter agreement that falsely described the loan as an "investment" by Madoff's wife in the company.

In a statement, Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz called the court papers "the latest chapter in the work of fiction created by the trustee."

Update from the Mets:

Statement From Fred Wilpon, Co-Founder And Chairman, And Saul B. Katz, Co-Founder And President Of Sterling Equities, In Response To The Trustee’s Amended Complaint:

“The amended complaint is the latest chapter in the work of fiction created by the Trustee. We will pursue a vigorous legal defense that will set the record straight and vindicate us.”

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mets News and Notes: Oliver Perez, Paul DePodesta, Luis Castillo

  • Plenty of people in the Mets organization are ready to give up on Oliver Perez, but pitching coach Dan Warthen is still a believer, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Sources say that several prominent voices in the organization have been wanting to cut the left-hander for weeks, but Perez is still in camp thanks in large part to Warthen's support. Even with the backing of the pitching coach, Perez will probably be released before Opening Day as many in the front office are skeptical that Perez can recapture some of his old magic as a reliever.
  • Terry Collins and Paul DePodesta are reunited with the Mets, writes Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports. When he was the GM of the Dodgers, DePodesta pushed for Collins to become the club's next skipper after Jim Tracy. Owner Frank McCourt ultimately rejected the idea and fired DePodesta. When the 61-year-old was being considered for the Mets' managerial position, DePodesta gave a strong recommendation to his boss, Sandy Alderson.
  • The trustee in charge of recovering the money lost by the victims of the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme plans to go after more funds associated with owners of the Mets, a source within baseball told's Adam Rubin. The trustee already is seeking $1 billion from Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon and his family.
  • Jon Heyman hears that Luis Castillo has looked better than the others in competition for the Mets second base job. Castillo's performance and the lack of a standout alternative may reduce the chances that the Mets release him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mets may sell more than 25 percent of team

According to Richard Sandomir and Ken Belson of the New York Times, the Wilpons and Mets team president Saul Katz are willing to sell more than 20 to 25 percent of the team as long as they hold the majority.

"Let's just say that a noncontrolling stake could be north of 25 percent," said Steve Greenberg, who is advising the Mets on the sale.

Time for a process of sale like this (according to the NY Times) can take awhile.  Bidders have to get a background check from Major League Baseball, which includes their Financial records so they can prove they can back their financial investment.

The Times is claiming that the portion (25%) which the Mets are looking for can run about $100 Million.

Then once the bidder is approved by all owners and MLB the bidder can examine all the Mets Financial Books. Bidders can adjust their expectations on what to offer for a piece of the club, or walk away.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Audio: Mike Francesa talks to lawyer George Newhouse about the Madoff / Wilpon case

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NYT: Fred Wilpon: "We will be vindicated"

According to David Waldstein of the NY Times, Fred Wilpon spoke to reporters for about 20 minutes about the Madoff  Ponzi  Scheme Lawsuit in which they are allegedly accused of  knowing about the scam .

Fred Wilpon was quoted:

“Allegations are not fact,” Wilpon said. “We have to now come back and tell you what our facts are, based upon facts, based upon the law. And our lawyers are doing that, and they will do that. And we will be vindicated.”
“By vindication, I mean, No. 1, everybody will know we had nothing to do with it and we didn’t know anything about it, and we were duped.”
When asked if they had been naive to believe in Madoff, their friend and business associate for 25 years, Wilpon said, “I would say in retrospect, yeah. If you want to look at it that way, yes. Certainly, trusting a friend as we did didn’t turn out right.”
Speaking for the first time since the complaint was unsealed Feb. 4, Wilpon disputed claims that the families’ other business ventures, particularly in commercial real estate, have been suffering, too.
“Every one of our other businesses are going very well,” he said. “This business has to be straightened out. Every other business we have I like. This business I love. I love the New York Mets. I’ve been around here for almost 32 years. This is part of my DNA.”
Wilpon was asked if he felt the victims of the Madoff scheme deserved to get money back, which has been the court-appointed duty of the trustee.
“I deeply feel for them,” he said, “many of whom are my friends or relatives, and I think whatever the law provides, and allows to happen, I would hope that happens.”

Saturday, February 12, 2011

David Wright Thinks Madoff Situation will affect the Mets Clubhouse

New York Mets third baseman David Wright durin...
While most everyone connected to the Mets have denied that the situation will have any affect on the team, David Wright has admitted that probably won't be the case.
"I don't think that you can sit here and say that it's going to have no effect on the clubhouse when you're talking about kind of the family -- really, the head of the family. When something is going on with them, of course it's going trickle down," Wright said. "You have to understand that unfortunately there's some great parts about this business and there's some situations like this."

"As close as I've gotten with the Wilpon family, it kind of hurts to see them go through this and kind of be attacked the way they're being attacked. I've talked to them, and just wanted to let them know that we have their backs and we support them. I kind of feel for what they're having to go through. So hopefully this all works itself out and we can get back to playing baseball. But this is really the best remedy -- getting down here and getting on a baseball field."
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ex-Gov. Mario Cuomo to mediate Madoff/Wilpon case

Mario Cuomo giving a speech
According to the NY Post, Former Gov. Mario Cuomo has been tapped to mediate the $300 million-plus lawsuit that accuses the Mets owners of illegally profiting from Bernard Madoff's epic Ponzi scheme.

The Queens native -- who wrote the intro to a 1996 history of the Amazin's -- was appointed today by the judge overseeing the case.

Manhattan Bankruptcy Court Burton Lifland said "there are special issues presented in the (suit) that suggest referral to an appropriately experienced mediator."

The order notes that both sides "have been informed of and consented to" Cuomo's appointment.

Lifland also imposed a blackout on settlement negotiations, saying "no documents relating to the matter to be mediated shall be filed with the court."

Cuomo, who is currently "of counsel" to the white-show law firm Wilkie Farr & Gallagher, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment about the subject.

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