Mets Owners: We Knew Nothing of Madoff Scam

First angry response to 'clawback' suit
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2011 5:08 AM CDT
Mets Owners: We Knew Nothing of Madoff Scam
New York Mets owner and CEO Fred Wilpon speaks to the media during a news conference last year.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Though they made millions in profits from Bernard Madoff's phony investment scheme, owners of the Mets knew nothing about the fraud and aren't about to turn over a dime of their money to fleeced investors, they argue in court documents. Lawyers for Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have filed a motion to dismiss a "clawback" suit against them that aims to recover funds for scammed Madoff investors. If successful, the clawback suit could force them to repay some 20 years of investments, including $300 million in "fake" profits and $700 million in principal, reports the New York Daily News.

The action argues that the partners "knew or should have known" that the Madoff investments were fraudulent because there were too many obvious signs to ignore. But an attorney for the Mets claims the action is a bid to extract a "huge and unwarranted settlement." A statement from Wilpon and Katz stresses: "Let us be very clear: We did not know that Madoff was engaged in a fraud. There were no red flags and we received no warnings." An attorney for the trustee filing clawback suits on behalf of scammed investors responded: "The Katz Wilpon defendants are wrong on the facts and the law. The trustee will prevail." (More Fred Wilpon stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.