Judge Deals A Jarring Blow To Mets Defense

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.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.