New York Mets sued by Bernie Madoff trustee Irving Picard

A photo of the “Mets” logo on the front of a New York Mets jersey.

The New York Mets: second in New York, first in Ponzi lawsuits. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Koe/Wikipedia)

The New York Mets have been used to coming in second when it comes to the race for New York City baseball fans’ hearts. However, when it comes to profiting from Ponzi schemes, ESPN reports that the New York Mets – as well as team owner Fred Wilpon and family – have been finishing first. Bernie Madoff victims’ fund trustee Irving Picard is suing the team and the Wilpon family as part of investor fund recovery. Mets Limited Partnership – a division of the New York Mets organization – is known to have invested and profited from dealings with Madoff and his investment company.

The New York Mets are in settlement negotiations

Like many well-off Bernie Madoff clients who have agreed to return funds to help repay other victims, the New York Mets are currently in settlement negotiations with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Team executives have assured Mets fans that this situation will not impede operations of the team. According to the New York Times, the Mets Limited Partnership invested $522.7 million with Bernie Madoff and walked away with $570.5 million, a $47.8 million profit.

In a statement by the Wilpon-owned real estate company Sterling Equities, it was revealed that further details regarding ongoing settlement negotiations remain confidential. Much like the case between Irving Picard and JPMorgan Chase, however, more details could be revealed with time.

The pain of loss is greater for some

New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, 74, told ESPN that he sympathizes with the victims of Bernie Madoff, saying that “(lost) money smarts,” but that the most painful element for people like himself is the betrayal.

“I’ll go to my grave (with) that one, as will (team president) Saul (Katz) and Jeff (Wilpon) and the rest of our partners. That was a total betrayal of us. We were investors for something like 25 years,” he said.

Wilpon assured the media that returning the money will not leave the New York Mets and Wilpon group of companies destitute. Real estate and development businesses were “running the shop,” by the owner’s estimation.

Sources

Boston Globe

ESPN

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