NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Fred Wilpon, the owner of the New York Mets, will be in court today seeking to have a $700 million lawsuit filed by Irving Picard thrown out.
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story
Picard is the trustee in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme case.
Lawyers for Wilpon, Saul Katz, and their partners in Sterling Equities say the trustee is misapplying the law to claim principal that the owners invested with Madoff. They also dispute Picard’s claims that they ignored red flags pointing to the fraud.
But an appeals court ruling this week in favor of Irving Picard’s method to calculate payouts to investors means they may be on the hook for at least $300 million dollars in so called fictitious profits, according to Manhattan attorney and WFAN contributor Steven Kallas.
“And their goal, I’m sure, is to negotiate a smaller number, but they’re going to have to eliminate that $700 million number because if that number stays, then I think you can say absolutely, they’re going to have to sell the team,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond. “I think that would put the Wilpons in serious jeopardy of certainly having to consider to move along further with David Einhorn in terms of an actual sale of the club.”
Settlement talks have been going on for a year, and recently the two sides have been meeting with the court appointed mediator and former New York governor Mario Cuomo.