A federal judge in Manhattan on Monday cleared the way for a jury trial on March 19 that could put the owners of the Mets on the hook for hundreds of million of dollars.Read the rest here.
Jed S. Rakoff, a district court judge, not only rejected a bid by the team’s owners to have the remaining claims of a lawsuit filed by the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud dismissed, but he also decided that the trustee was entitled to collect up to $83 million in fictitious profits from the men. He said the exact amount would be determined in a “subsequent order.”
Barring a settlement, the trial will focus principally on whether the Mets’ owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, were willfully blind to indications that Madoff was engaged in a fraud during their 25 years of investing with him.
If a jury finds that they turned away from those cautions to continue to reap the returns from their Madoff investments, the men could be liable for as much as $300 million.