Mets Settle Madoff Case for $162 million

Last-minute deal by Mets owners with Madoff trustee averts trial over alleged llicit gains

Citi Field, where the Mets can now play free of the Madoff shadow. (Photo: AP) Citi Field, where the Mets can now play free of the Madoff shadow. (Photo: AP)

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • RIAs and Customer Identification Just as RIAs owe a duty to diligently protect their clients’ privacy and guard against theft, firms also play a vital role in customer identification. Although RIAs are not subject to an anti-money laundering rule, securities regulators expect advisors to address these issues in their policies and procedures.
  • Preventing and Dealing with Client Complaints Although the SEC has not provided specific guidance on how client complaints should be handled, a firm’s policies and procedures should provide clear direction how to do so, as neglecting complaints can exacerbate a bad situation.

The controversy over the Mets owners’ involvement with the con man Bernie Madoff came to a swift and sudden end on Monday as a settlement was reached just before trial.

The owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, agreed to pay $162 million to the Madoff trustee Irving Picard, according to a story from MLB.com posted on the Mets’ website

According to the story, Wilpon and Katz will not pay anything for three years.

Jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday for a trial that was to determine whether Wilpon and Katz could prove they were not "willfully blind" to Madoff's scheme, for which Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence at a North Carolina federal prison.

Judge Jed Rakoff ruled earlier this month that Wilpon and Katz would have to forfeit as much as $83 million in allegedly ill-gotten gains and go to trial over another $303 million.

The $162 million settlement figure is a total figure that includes the $83 million. Moreover, the Mets owners can recover that money through their own claims, totaling $178 million, against the Madoff estate.

"In a sense, we're now partners," David J. Sheehan, a lawyer for Picard, told The Associated Press outside the courthouse.

Picard had said that the Mets owners knew, or should have known, that Madoff's investment scheme was a fraud.

"Now I guess I can smile. ... Maybe I can take a day off," Wilpon said, according to the AP. "I am very, very pleased for ourselves and our families. This was really a team effort."

Rakoff said Picard had reviewed the evidence and would no longer pursue a claim of "willful blindness" against the defendants.

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.