On Wednesday, the Mets owners were dealt a jarring blow to their defense when Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz must prove that they were not “willfully blind” to Madoff’s scheme.
The burden of proof will not be on Irving Picard, but instead it’s on the Mets owners who have to convince a jury that they acted in good faith.
The ruling comes eight days after Rakoff allowed the case to proceed to trial.
Earlier this month, Rakoff had already ruled that the Wilpons will owe Picard up to $83 million for fictitious profits earned, with another $303 million in principal at stake during the trial which is set to begin with jury selection on Monday.
Once a jury is chosen, both sides will be allowed to present a 45-minute opening argument. Judge Rakoff has said that the trial will last 10 business days.
Strap yourselves in, this ride could get a little bumpy.