Wilpons Take Battle With Picard To U.S. Supreme Court

Anthony Destefano of Newsday reported that the owners of the New York Mets are taking their battle with the trustee in the Bernard Madoff case to the U.S. Supreme Court — at least they are trying to.

In a little noticed filing last Friday, Sterling Equities Associates, the umbrella organization of the Wilpon family and other team owners, asked the nation’s high court to review a major ruling by a federal appeals court over which Madoff investors can recover some of their losses from a special fund.

It will likely take about four or five months for the Supreme Court to decide if it will decide to take the case, a process known as granting certiorari, legal experts said. If the court takes the case, it likely wouldn’t be argued until early 2013. In the meantime, trustee Irving Picard’s lawsuit against the Wilpons and Sterling for well over $300 million — including about $84 million in Madoff profits — is scheduled to go to trial on March 19 in federal court in Manhattan.

Destefano says Sterling is trying to challenge last year’s ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that backed the method Picard has used in calculating the “net equity” in Madoff accounts. Picard decided to allow Madoff investors who didn’t withdraw more from their accounts than they had invested — so called “net losers” — to get as much as $500,000 from a recovery fund administered by the nonprofit Securities Investor Protection Corp.

A spokeswoman for Picard declined to comment Wednesday on the Supreme Court filing.

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