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Did Madoff's Money Keep The Mets Afloat?07:39
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Jeff Wilpon (l), Saul Katz, and Fred Wilpon (r) allegedly used fraudulent profits from their investments with Bernie Madoff to pay salaries and run the New York Mets (AP)
Jeff Wilpon (l), Saul Katz, and Fred Wilpon (r) allegedly used fraudulent profits from their investments with Bernie Madoff to pay salaries and run the New York Mets (AP)

In a few weeks, the owners of the New York Mets will find themselves in a courtroom opposite Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee charged with recovering money for the victims of Bernie Madoff. The civil suit alleges that the Mets relied on fraudulent profits from their investments with Madoff to run the club. In a conversation with Bill Littlefield, Richard Sandomir of the New York Times detailed the charges.

"What [the trustee] is trying to prove here is that the Mets owners were unduly dependent upon the returns that they got from their investing with Madoff," Sandomir said.

Mets owners took out loans at 8% interest rates and invested that money with Madoff, who offered 10-14% returns.

"The heart of the case," Sandomir said, "is whether the Mets owners were turning a blind eye from any indications that Madoff was engaged in fraud."

As more sophisticated businessman than many of those who invested with Madoff, Picard claims that Mets owners should have known that the steady returns were too good to be true.

The Mets stand to lose between $83 million and $386 million in the lawsuit, which begins on March 19.

This segment aired on February 25, 2012.

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