Former Met Tim Teufel Dragged Into Madoff Mess

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Mets player Tim Teufel is among the hundreds of Bernard Madoff investors who have been asked to return bogus profits from the fraudster’s Ponzi scheme.

A court-appointed trustee sued the former second baseman in December, demanding that he return roughly $1.2 million he collected from investments with Madoff over the years.

The suit doesn’t accuse Teufel of any wrongdoing or knowledge of Madoff’s crimes, but said the hefty returns he thought he earned were actually made up of money stolen from other investors. Similar suits have been filed against many other Madoff clients as part of an effort by the trustee to return as much money as possible to its rightful owners.

Teufel, now the manager of the Mets’ minor league affiliate in Buffalo, told Newsday he couldn’t comment on the suit, but he said it wouldn’t affect his job.

“It’s nothing I bring in here,” he told the newspaper in an interview at the Mets spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla. “This is not the time or the place for anything personal. It’s all about the players. I’m a developer. I keep my personal life out of the clubhouse.”

Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and team president Saul Katz have also been sued by the trustee. That suit seeks at least $300 million in bogus Madoff profits. Unlike the claim against Teufel, it also claims the team owners willfully turned a blind eye to warnings that Madoff’s operation was too good to be true.

The Wilpons and Katz have strongly denied any wrongdoing. Fred Wilpon said Thursday at the Mets camp that he had been friends with Madoff for 35 years, and was duped and betrayed like thousands of other fraud victims.

A number of people linked to the Mets invested with Madoff because of his close ties with the Wilpons.

RELATED: Mets’ Fred Wilpon: ‘We Will Be Vindicated’ | Report: Ruth Madoff Lives Frugal, Incognito Life In Florida | Madoff Claims Some Banks ‘Had To Know’ About Ponzi Scheme | Jeff Wilpon: Majority Sale Of Mets ‘Not On The Table’

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  • Nectar

    This lawyer trustee, Irving Picard, is a piece of work.

    He is the only person who stands to profit from this whole ordeal. The so-called rightful owners will be lucky to see pennies on the dollar after Picard sucks out his legal fees and costs.

    His office is also heartless. Pursuing destitute senior citizens for returns that are long since gone (with their life savings).

    If there is such a thing as Karma, Picard is in deep you-know-what.

  • Fartman

    Teufel shuffle yourself

  • guamflyer

    Of course he should return the money, even if he was innocent. If he bought a car honestly that turned out to be stolen, he certainly wouldn’t be able to keep the car. It would be returned to the lawful owner.

  • Ziggy

    Under our bankruptcy laws, bogus profits are returned via clawbacks – he was paid with other peoples’ money.

  • vengeance

    Irving Picard is pure evil. He may be worse than Madoff himself.

  • Lisa

    This is just wrong, he didn’t know it was a fraud and was just one of the lucky few that got some return on what is thought was a legit investment. While I feel bad for all the people he cheated this guy should not be made to give this money back.

    Madoff is a slimy snake with a place at the head table in hell, but many of the investors were more than willing to let things ride because of greed. Leave Tim alone.

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