Mets Owners, Madoff Trustee Settle Case For $162 Million

The Good News Is Their Legal Claim In The Suit Cancels Out What They Owe

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –– Call them the “miracle” Mets.

A last-minute deal ended a lawsuit that could have cost ownership control of the team. It was a $162 million settlement over claims the owners wrongly profited from the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, reports CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Case

Mets co-owner Fred Wilpon was clearly relieved Monday after settling a claim from the trustee recovering money for Madoff’s victims. The trustee had demanded almost $400 million he said the Mets wrongly received from Madoff.

“Now I guess I can smile. Maybe I can take a day off,” Wilpon said.

Sports law expert and Fordham University professor Mark Conrad said the Mets knocked this one out of the park.

“The trustee was looking for as much money as possible, and it turns out that the settlement at this point is very much in the Mets favor,” Conrad said.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports

As it turns out, the settlement might not cost Saul Katz and Wilpon any actual cash.

Here’s why. The Madoff trustee has recovered a pile of money — approximately $11 billion — to return to victims. The Mets filed a legal claim for a $178 million share of that pile, a claim which they now will cancel to pay off the settlement.

However, it is possible, when all the numbers are crunched, the Mets may end up shelling out up to $30 million.

“Litigation is negative energy, so we are very pleased to have this behind us,” Katz said.

But the “negative energy” of the Mets’ long association with Madoff won’t simply disappear. With trouble on and off the field, more than a few fans wish Wilpon and Co., would go away.

“They’re horrible,” one fan said.

“I wish they’d sell,” another fan added.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell: Mets Owners Have Their Priorities

The co-owners, however, said they’ll go extra innings to restore fans’ faith.

“And try to bring the New York Mets back to prominence that our fans deserve,” Wilpon said.

“Hopefully the Mets can move on from this, build from this, and definitely move on,” fan Sanford Lapsley said.

That will be a challenge for last year the team lost $70 million. With the settlement, the trustee dropped his claim that the Mets owners were “willfully blind” to the Madoff fraud, something Wilpon and Katz had strongly denied.

What’s your first reaction? Leave a comment below. …

  • The Realist

    How much will WE THE TAXPAYERS be billed for the Wilpons’ liability?

  • Madoff and Wilpons are Crooks!!

    Thank God that over, the distractions were hurting the team. Lets get back to bad baseball and a high salaried player rummage sale. Can anyone say, David Wright, you are traded.

  • Tina B

    I love the Mets I don’t care who owns them. I was 17 when they started and Lindsey Nelson, Ralph Kiner and Bob Murphy taught me baseball. Before I moved to CA I could tell you every player on every team.

    I knew Joan Peyson, I don’t know the Wilpons. Apparently they are good friends of the commissione. So should he be replaced just because he knows the Wilpons who might have made money off Madoff. Give me a break the Mets are not at fault and it is not fair to them to walk away from that team cause you you don’t like the Wilpona. From where stand it looks pretty stupid to hate an owner and make the team suffer.

    • Df

      The mets are a joke

  • BILL


  • DoubleD

    Too bad! Wilpons probably will be able to keep team now. We should boycott Citi!

  • John Feltman

    It is obvious that the Wilpons knew more than they should about the Madoff Ponzi scheme. This settlement in itself is a ponzi scheme…3 years to pay? The people who were robbed of their llife savings,shouldn’t have to wait 3 years for pennies on the dollar. And the Baseball Commissioner should make sure that the Mets Baseball are not tainted by Wilpon ownership.



  • Ira

    I call on the Met’s management to just sell the team. Even without the whole Madoff issue they have permanently hurt the team. This team will not many competitive for years to come and I as a fan won’t be there to support them. As a fan for 43 years I am embarrassed and disgusted by them.

    • John

      The Wilpons are clowns. They turned the Mets into a small market team. I have been a fan since 1962 but I refuse to give them one more dime. No tickets, no merchandise, no sny. MLB should step in and force them to sell “in the best interests of baseball

  • T

    Still not going to the ballpark. Not going to drop around $150 to $200 for a guaranteed loss. After 25+ years of waiting for a contender that lasts for more than one or two seasons and going to countless games I will be headin out. The kids don’t even want to go anymore.

  • Don

    LOL, LOL, and here Ed Coleman and Rich Coutinho stated last year the Wilpons were innocent and this would not hurt the Mets on how they manage the team.

    So much for being inside men. This just goes to show they don’t know jack of anything and Mets fans have to stop believing in their so call words of truth.

  • TannerAks

    @Jamis hey i know how hard it is to find a job right now. try makecash28com i found it searching through online jobs and this one actually pays, not great but making about $14.50hourly pretty good but i could make me ill give you some info…or check out the site.

  • Big G Mets Fan

    But they don’t have to pay for 3 years. Are they thinking that the team will stink for that period of time and hopefully be better after that and fans will return to the ball park.

    Please MLB, make them sell

    • ssmith

      they probably won’t end up needing to pay anything after the dust settles. read the freakin article….

  • eddie

    I think MLB should step in now and make the owners sell the team.

  • Vic

    Hope they have to sell!!! Best thing that can happen to this franchise

  • Lou

    Great news. It’s finally over.

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