Judge To Decide On Mets-Madoff Trial

Feb 24 2012 | 4:30am ET

The owners of the New York Mets will know by next month whether they'll face a civil trial over their investments with Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said he'd rule on the Mets' bid to dismiss the Madoff receiver's lawsuit against them by March 5, two weeks before the trial is scheduled to begin. Lawyers for Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz were in court yesterday, urging Rakoff to dismiss Irving Picard's remaining $386 million in claims against them.

"There is no evidence that any defendant believed Madoff was a fraud and deliberately ignored it," Karen Wagner, a lawyer for the Mets owners, told Rakoff. Picard has accused them of willful blindness to Madoff's $65 billion scam.

Picard's lawyers also asked Rakoff to summarily award the Madoff estate $83 million in fictitious profits the Mets entities withdrew in the two years prior to Madoff's collapse in 2008. The Mets countered that the money should remain theirs, as money owed by a registered brokerage to its clients.

Last year, Rakoff dismissed most of Picard's claims against the Mets, which once exceeded $1 billion. Picard has indicated that he will appeal Rakoff's decision on those allegations after trial—if there is a trial.

And if there is a trial, Rakoff had bad news for both sides, disqualifying two of Picard's witnesses and one of the Mets'.

Meanwhile, the Mets continued to move towards selling 40% of the team to minority investors. One of those investors—possibly the only independent one, so far, if rumors are to be believed—will be SAC Capital Advisors' Steven Cohen. The Mets have secured commitments for seven of the 10 stakes they plan to sell; Cohen is the only known buyer. The team will not complete the transaction until all 10 deals can close at the same time.

By then, Cohen may be looking for a buyer for his slice of his favorite team. Cohen is among the finalists to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, and may have lost some of his competition: A group including former Dodgers manager Joe Torre told Major League Baseball last week that it would drop out if current Dodgers owner Frank McCourt refuses to sell the parking lots that surround Dodger Stadium with the team.


In Depth

JOBS Act Propels Real-Estate Crowdfunding Platform

Oct 21 2014 | 2:57am ET

If D.J. Paul were a real estate development, he would be described as “multi-use...

Lifestyle

Balyasny Pays Over $6M For Lakefront House

Oct 22 2014 | 10:29am ET

A venture headed by hedge fund manager Dmitry Balyasny just paid $6.2 million for...

Guest Contributor

Hedge Funds Weather A Data Management Perfect Storm

Oct 22 2014 | 12:28pm ET

From a regulatory standpoint, nearly every development since the crisis has placed...

 

Videos

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

October 2014 Cover

Deeply flawed risk benchmark

Most traders agree that proper risk management is the key to successful trading. However, many traders depend on the deeply flawed measure of standard deviation as a benchmark of risk. Here we put it ...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.