According to the New York Post, the attempt to cut a deal involving this lawsuit fell to pieces late yesterday, as reported by my colleagues Craig/Hojo’s Mojo, and put the Mets in basically the worst possible position. The Post writers wrote:
The failure to cut a deal with the trustee empowered to claw back cash from those who profited from Madoff’s epic scheme also sets the stage for damning legal allegations against Mets majority owner Fred Wilpon and his family to become public as early as today.
And it means Wilpon — who’s already trying to unload up to a 25 percent stake in the team to raise desperately needed cash to pay off Madoff victims’ claims — stands to risk losing total control of the franchise by fighting the case in court instead of settling.
The Mets were valued at $858 Million last year by Forbes – who projected the Mets value at (negative)$225 Million for this following year. According to the lawyers of Picard, the trustee entrusted to reclaim money lost in the Madoff Ponzi scheme, the Mets owners turned a blind eye to the scheme because they were able to make a profit out of it all. Picard’s charges of punitive damages could bring the lawsuit up to a $1 Billion loss.
There is some hope, however, as a source with information regarding the case was quoted as saying:
“[The Mets] have got nothing to hide — and he’s [Picard] got nothing. There’s no smoking gun, there are no e-mails there are no letters, there’s no evidence whatsoever that there is a link between the Mets and the scheme.”
This is going to be very interesting as it plays out. Stay tuned.