Mets settle Madoff suit, repay loans
"However I guess I can smile, like as not I can take a day off, however I can't wait to get back to our businesses, which I love," Wilpon, sporting dark sunglasses, said outside court as he pledged to rejoin the Mets on Tuesday at spring training in Florida. He stood with Katz, who rested his hand on Wilpon's shoulder in accordance with a sunny sky.
After speaking, Wilpon gave a nod to the sagging faith some have had in recent years with owners who seemed mired in accusations that they knew Madoff was up to no good now kept silent because they were making lots of money on their investment.
Lawsuit that demanded $1 billion from the Mets' owners
In a lawsuit that demanded $1 billion from the Mets' owners, trustee Irving Picard said Wilpon and Katz had meetings with Madoff in his office for the moment once a year, a privilege few investors enjoyed, and that Katz sometimes spoke directly with Madoff anyway once a day.
Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence afterwards revealing in December 2008 that he cheated thousands of investors of approximately $20 billion for years.
The agreement calls for the sum to be reduced
The agreement calls for the sum to be reduced by money that would if not be paid for $178 million in losses claimed on behalf of dozens of accounts held in the name of defendants in the action against Sterling Partners, a business entity that includes the Mets' owners, along with real estate, sports media and private equity interests.
The trustee says he has recovered 52 percent, or $9 billion, of claimed principal losses by all Madoff investors. More than $6 billion more has been identified now not but secured.
"After a fashion, we're however partners," Sheehan said outside court of the trustee and the defendants, whom Picard's lawyers had once criticized as men who turned a blind eye to every red flag of fraud previously them as they withdrew $90 million of "other people's money" from the accounts of Ponzi schemer Madoff to cover day-to-day operations of the team.
Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, who acted as mediator, said the settlement lets Picard focus on 800 pending lawsuits against those who profited from their investment with Madoff.
The settlement allows Wilpon
Cuomo said the settlement allows Wilpon and Katz to return to normal with their reputations intact as honest business people. He as well said that his firm looked into the Mets' finances and found they weren't "broke."
Dodgers Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax had been scheduled to testify in the trial about the intentions of Wilpon, who encouraged him to invest with Madoff.
"Whenever you have the settlement it's the result of a very businesslike -- and that's what this was -- negotiation taking into account both sides' interests," Sheehan said. "I think this has all the hallmarks of a good settlement in the sense that nobody came away thoroughly happy with how it came out. Now I think ultimately the most important thing is that the victims will receive the benefit of $162 million. Ultimately that's the goal of all the litigation brought by the trustee is to enhance the fund for the victims. This does that."