Mets, Madoff case going to trial

Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon.

The hits keep on coming for the Mets. And not the ones on the field.

U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled Monday in favor of Bernie Madoff trustee Irving Picard in the first step of what could lead to a damaging trial for Mets ownership.

The lawyers for Mets owner Fred Wilpon had filed a motion for the case to be dismissed. Rakoff ruled against them, meaning the Mets will pay up to $83 million to the trustee now and a jury trial will get underway March 19. If the jury rules in favor of Picard, the Mets could lose another $303 million.

Picard, who is in charge of reclaiming money from those who benefited from the Madoff Ponzi scheme on behalf of those who were defrauded, argued he was entitled to the $83 million in profits Wilpon made in the two years prior to Madoff’s arrest. With today’s ruling, the judge agreed.

The bigger trouble comes when the jury trial begins in two weeks. The Wilpons stand to lose $303 million in damages if they lose. Picard had originally filed for $1 billion in damages, but Rakoff reduced that to $386 million, including the $83 million the Mets ownership lost today.

For Mets fans looking on the bright side, Rakoff did say in his written judgment today that “[the] Court remains skeptical that the Trustee can ultimately rebut the defendants’ showing of good faith.”

The Mets took a $40 million bank loan in December due to their financial issues. Wilpon spoke at spring training camp last week, however, and said the team was close to agreeing to seven minority stakes in the club, each worth $20 million. The team is looking to raise about $200 million to pay off the loan and remain financially solvent.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…