Wednesday, November 02, 2011
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."