Mets

Judge Rules Jury Can Hear Trustee’s Case vs Mets

Bernie Madoff (credit: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images), Fred Wilpon (credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Bernie Madoff (credit: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images), Fred Wilpon (credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets’ owners have been ordered to undergo a jury trial if the case against them by the trustee for the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme goes forward.

In a six-page order Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff agreed with trustee Irving Picard and turned down arguments by the ownership group headed by Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, who claimed the case should be decided by a judge because it began in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Picard originally sought $1 billion from the Mets’ owners, claiming they should have known millions they collected from Madoff represented phony profits. Wilpon and Katz have denied the claims in lengthy litigation.

Rakoff dismissed nine of 11 counts on Sept. 27, limiting the exposure of the Mets’ ownership to about $386 million.