Koufax among those swindled

Updated: February 5, 2009, 2:35 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, a high school baseball teammate and friend of New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, was among the clients who invested with Bernard Madoff, according to a court filing released Wednesday night.

More than two dozen accounts involving the Mets, their owners and companies affiliated with their owners were listed, many with addresses at Shea Stadium.

Koufax attended Lafayette High School along with Wilpon in the 1950s and the two remain close. Koufax usually shows up each year at the Mets' spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Tim Teufel also was on the list. The former Mets infielder was hired this week as manager of their St. Lucie farm team in the Florida State League.

Other names on the list matching those of sports figures are Norman Braman, former owner of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, and Bob Nystrom, a former player on the NHL's New York Islanders.

Among the entities that had accounts with Madoff were Sterling Mets, the Mets Limited Partnership, the New York Mets Foundation and Sterling Doubleday -- the entity that owned the team when Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday were partners.

No amounts were listed in the filing, made in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

Fred Wilpon and his wife, Judy, had accounts individually, as did Fred's brother Richard and Saul Katz, the owner's brother-in-law. Katz is the Mets' team president.

Also with accounts were Jeff Wilpon, Fred Wilpon's son and the team's chief operating officer; Valerie Wilpon, Jeff's wife; and Robin Wilpon Wachtler, Jeff's sister.

Charitable foundations of Fred and Judy Wilpon, and of Jeff and Valerie Wilpon were listed along with several Wilpon family trusts.

Brooklyn Baseball Company, the Mets-controlled company that owns the minor league Brooklyn Cyclones, also was on the list along with Coney Island Baseball.

Prosecutors claim Madoff admitted he lost more than $50 billion belonging to investors. Defense lawyers say he has cooperated with authorities to help identify assets.

The Mets have not said how much the entities and individuals have lost. Jeff Wilpon said in December the money can be replenished over time as the operating businesses generate profits.

"The individual partners lost some money at Madoff. It doesn't affect the Mets. It doesn't affect the Citi Field project. It doesn't affect SNY or any of our other operating businesses," Jeff Wilpon said.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press