Mets

Mets Owners Will Have Burden Of Proof In Madoff Trial

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Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz, Jeff Wilpon (credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz, Jeff Wilpon (credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) - Owners of the New York Mets lost a key ruling ahead of a federal trial over whether they should return millions of dollars they received from jailed financier Bernard Madoff.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said co-owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have the burden of showing they acted in good faith in receiving money from Madoff’s firm in the two years leading up to its December 2008 bankruptcy.

Lawyers for Irving Picard, a trustee recovering money for investors said the Mets’ owners, knew or should have known that Madoff was acting illegally.

“The burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendants received the aforementioned transfers in good faith (i.e. in the absence of willful blindness) rests on the defendants,” Judge Jed Rakoff wrote in a brief order issued on Wednesday.

A jury trial over the remainder of the case is scheduled to begin on March 19.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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