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Madoff trustee seeks $300M from Mets owners

Seems Madoff was a $300 million cash cow for the New York Mets’ baseball team owners, if you  believe the suit unsealed by a trustee sorting out who owes whom what money in the Madoff mess.

Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee, today unsealed his case filed against the owners of the Mets, Sterling Equities, a group which also are successful real estate investors. The two founding partners behind Sterling are Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, both of whom socialized and did business with Madoff starting in the 1980s.

Under the Sterling umbrella, the Mets had their own related accounts with Madoff, and withdrew about $94 million in phony profits from the Ponzi scheme, the trustee alleges. When the Mets needed money–say, because of lagging ticket sales–Sterling withdrew from Madoff to help out in a cash crunch, according to the suit. Sterling also pledged its Madoff investments as collateral when borrowing from Bank of America to form SNY, its sports television network.

I’ve boiled down the Mets suit to snippets with headings (the entire filings is a staggering 373 pages if you care to read it Final Sterling Complaint 12-7-10[1]). The Sterling operations were very intertwined with Madoff, using his fake hedge fund as a sort of bank for day-to-day business, the suit alleges.


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