Mets made $48M from Madoff

Updated: October 21, 2009, 2:13 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The owners of the New York Mets baseball team made about $48 million in dealings with swindler Bernard Madoff, court documents showed.

The Mets Limited Partnership, which is connected to the Wilpon family, led by Mets owner Fred Wilpon, deposited $522.8 million in two accounts with Madoff and withdrew $570.6 million, according to a Monday filing by court-appointed trustee Irving Picard.

The Mets could not be reached immediately for comment by Reuters.

Earlier this year, Erin Arvedlund, author of "Too Good to Be True," a book on Madoff, said the Wilpon family would be forced to sell the Mets due to huge losses suffered in the Madoff swindle.

The Mets had said Arvedlund has no knowledge of the team or its finances and repeated previous statements that the team was not for sale.

"As has been stated previously, this has no effect on the operations of the New York Mets," the team said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Wilpon bought a stake in the Mets in 1980, raised his share to 50 percent six years later, and purchased the rest with his family and others in 2002.

The case is Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-01789.

Picard, the liquidator appointed by the court, has filed lawsuits against some Madoff investors who profited from the Ponzi scheme, seeking to recover approximately $15 billion. The Mets Limited Partnership hasn't been sued.

Bradley Simon, a former federal prosecutor who is not involved with the case, told Bloomberg that he expects Picard to try to recover the money from the Wilpons.

"It cannot be argued on Wilpon's behalf that these were legitimate investment returns," Simon told Bloomberg. "It would be a violation of his fiduciary duty for Picard to not seek the return of that money."

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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