Kallas: Bernie And The Mets
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By Steve Kallas
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With the unsealing of the mammoth, 365-page complaint in the Madoff bankruptcy case of Picard v. Katz, Wilpon, et al., there will be many things for the public, and especially, Mets fans, to digest. But here’s the most Amazin’ (pun intended) thing: Bernie Madoff could have been an owner of the New York Mets.
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Of all the crazy things that have already come out of the greatest Ponzi scheme in the history of the world (Madoff is doing 150 years in prison, unrepentant), this is perhaps the craziest. But it’s all right there in the unsealed complaint filed by Irving Picard, the Trustee for the Liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.
A reading of the complaint discusses the fact that Bernie Madoff invested at least $12 million in “Sterling-related investments.” Sterling is defined in the complaint as Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and others. One of the investments offered to Bernie Madoff was partial ownership of the New York Mets. Quoting from the complaint:
“The only time Sterling offered Madoff an opportunity to invest that he declined was in the Mets, when in 2002, Doubleday sold its 50% ownership of the Mets and Sterling offered Madoff partial ownership interests in the franchise.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
The complaint goes on to discuss the various investments that Madoff did invest in with the Sterling defendants. But they are irrelevant to the general public compared with the notion that Madoff could have been a Mets owner.
While it is still unclear why this complaint was sealed in the first place (the offered idea that it was sealed so the parties could work out a settlement isn’t really a viable answer), one can make a good guess that nobody in the Mets organization wanted the word to get out that the architect of the biggest Ponzi scheme ever almost owned a piece of the New York Mets.
While this complaint will be read, analyzed, over-analyzed and discussed in the days, weeks, months and even years ahead, nobody will find anything more unusual (scary?) than the fact that Bernie Madoff, in 2002, almost became an owner of the Mets.