Report: Mets, Wilpons Face More Madoff Allegations
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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The Wall Street Journal is reporting the Mets’ owners are “expected to face additional allegations” from a court-appointed trustee who is trying to recover money for victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme if they fail to reach a settlement.
The Journal, citing unidentified sources, reports that attorneys for Picard have informed Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz that additional allegations about amounts invested with Madoff will be added by March 18.
The trustee, Irving H. Picard, sued Wilpon and Katz and entities related to Sterling Equities in December, seeking at least $300 million.
Picard claimed the Mets profited with their Madoff investments and ignored warnings that his high returns might be false. Losses in the Ponzi scheme are estimated at around $20 billion.
It seems every day brings more bad news for the Wilpons, who announced in January they were looking to sell a non-controlling interest in the team of 20 to 25 percent to raise several hundred million dollars.
The New York Times, citing two unidentified people briefed on the club’s finances, reported on its website Tuesday night that the Mets can’t count on receiving any more money from the commissioner’s office to help cover expenses.
“Baseball’s decision to restrict the Mets’ access to further emergency funds could leave the team’s beleaguered owners … without their best remaining source of cash as they struggle to maintain control of the team,” the paper reported.
The New York Post reported on Monday that the Mets are “desperately” seeking a new loan to cover basic operating costs.
“JPMorgan Chase … is trying to recruit other institutions to join a syndicate to put together a new loan that would tide the Mets over until they sell a minority stake in the ballclub,” reported the Post. “A well-placed source said both the Mets and Major League Baseball are exerting strong pressure on JPMorgan to make that loan happen.”
The new loan could add up to “tens of millions of dollars,” according to the paper.
“The story is inaccurate,” a JPMorgan Chase spokesman told amNewYork. “We are not in discussions to syndicate a new loan for the team.”
Wilpon has said his family was a victim in the scheme.
Will more Madoff allegations force the Wilpons to look at a majority sale? Let us know what you think in the comments below…
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