Showing posts with label Saul Katz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saul Katz. Show all posts

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.

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.

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.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Breaking News: Federal Judge throws out part of a $1 Billion Lawsuit against owners of the New York Mets


According to Reuters,  a Manhattan federal judge on Tuesday threw out part of a $1 billion lawsuit against owners of the New York Mets baseball team by the trustee seeking money for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed all but two claims by the trustee Irving Picard against the Mets owners, including Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and others at Sterling Equities.

One of the claims alleges actual fraud. The other would require the defendants' claims against the bankruptcy estate of Madoff's firm to be subordinated to those of others.

A spokeswoman for Picard said the trustee had no comment pending a "thorough evaluation" of the opinion. Lawyers for the Mets owners were not available for comment.

Mario Cuomo, the former New York governor mediating the dispute, also had no immediate comment.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Mets release statement on Einhorn negotiations


The New York Mets' Owners announced today that their period of exclusive negotiations with David Einhorn regarding a minority, non-operating interest in the Mets has expired and Ownership has decided not to extend the exclusive negotiating period any further. After months of negotiation, the parties were unable to reach agreement, and Mets Ownership has decided to explore other options.

Ownership has provided additional capital to cover all 2011 losses and is moving forward with the necessary resources to continue to operate the franchise. Ownership will explore other strategic transactions and is under no financial pressure to do a deal on any particular schedule.

"We are very confident in the team's plans - both off and on the field," said Mets Chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon. "We will engage with other individuals, some who have been previously vetted by Major League Baseball, along with other interested parties, regarding a potential minority investment into the franchise. My partners and I thank David for his interest in considering this opportunity and wish him well in the future."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

NY Times: Mets/Einhorn deal almost finished, waiting for paper work to be completed


The Mets deal to sell a minority stake in the team for $200 million to David Einhorn is finished except for completing the deal’s paperwork, according to the NY Times.

The deal was slowed by Einhorn’s dealings with the banks that have lent the team more than $400 million. The banks are now satisfied with the transaction’s terms (NY Times Source).

The acquisition of a minority stake is usually approved by Commissioner Bud Selig, which would probably give the Mets access to the $200 million as early as next month.

The boatload of cash should be a relief to Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, the Mets’ owners, who face a $1 billion lawsuit that has been filed by Irving H. Picard, the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bud Selig Approves Mets Ownership Deal with Einhorn


Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday that he will approve the partial sale of the Mets to hedge-funder David Einhorn once the deal is finalized.

The sale of a $200 million minority stake in the club has taken longer than expected to complete. Einhorn initially said he expected to close the deal by the end of June, and neither side has offered an updated timetable. But once the terms are agreed on, Selig said he won't hold up the deal.

"What the [heck], he played baseball in my backyard. How can I turn him down?" Selig said at a luncheon with baseball writers before the All-Star Game. While growing up in a Milwaukee suburb, Einhorn said he used to play baseball in the backyard of Selig's neighbor.

"Yeah, he's cleared," Selig said. "Now, they have to finish the deal. And by the way, I think they're making very good progress."

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Report: Steve Cohen seen with the Wilpons in CT. Steak House, Could he be the next part owner of the Mets?


The NY Times identified hedge fund manager Steve Cohen as the frontrunner to buy a minority share of the Mets.

Today the New York Post is reporting that is still the case, reporting that Cohen was to meet with the Wilpons and/or Saul Katz  ”at 8 pm at Gabriele’s Steak House in his hometown of Greenwich, Conn.”.


In the Times’ report, people who knew Cohen said that they would be surprised that he would accept a minority stake in the Mets, on the presumption that such a stake would provide him with no control over the direction of the team.

The Post reported last week, however, and repeats today, that “a minority owner will have significant input immediately on key budgetary decisions” and that he would “be part of a newly created board.”

Of Course,  MLB has to approve such a owner, even a minority owner and yesterday it came out that he is being investigated by the feds for insider trading,  Stay Tuned!


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:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Statement: Wilpons/Katz Fight Back in Court


Here's the press release issued on behalf of Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz on the day they answer the $1 billion lawsuit against them with a filling in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

STERLING PARTNERS REJECT MADOFF TRUSTEE’S LAWSUIT AS WORK OF FICTION

GREAT NECK, N.Y., March 20, 2011 – In court papers filed today, Fred Wilpon, Saul B. Katz and their Sterling Equities partners (the “Sterling Partners”) began the process of defending themselves in court against the false allegations made by the Trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS). In the motion filed today, the Sterling Partners provide clear evidence that the Trustee’s amended complaint:

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