Bloomberg News

Mets Owners to Ask Judge to Decide Madoff Trustee Suit

February 03, 2012

(Adds amount of claims in first paragraph.)

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The owners of the New York Mets baseball team will ask a Manhattan judge to decide remaining claims of $386 million in a suit from Irving Picard, the trustee for Bernard Madoff’s defunct firm.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff threw out most of Picard’s $1 billion claims against the team owners and this month refused to let the trustee appeal his ruling before a March jury trial. The Mets owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, will ask Rakoff next month for judgment on all remaining counts of Picard’s complaint, they said in a Jan. 20 court filing. Picard said separately he wants a ruling before trial on one remaining count of his lawsuit.

New York lawyer Picard originally demanded $300 million in profit and $700 million in principal from Wilpon, Katz and a group of family members and related entities, saying they turned a blind eye to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. The partners denied the allegation. In September, Rakoff dismissed all or part of nine out of 11 claims in Picard’s suit against Wilpon and Katz.

Denying Picard’s request to let him appeal this month, Rakoff, a fan of the New York Yankees, cited a quotation usually attributed to that team’s Hall of Fame catcher, Yogi Berra.

“Whether on the ball field or in court, ‘It ain’t over till it’s over’ is both shrewd observation and sound advice,” the judge said.

The case is Picard v. Katz, 11-cv-03605, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

--With assistance from Bob Van Voris in New York. Editors: Peter Blumberg, Mary Romano

To contact the reporter on this story: Linda Sandler in New York at lsandler@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net


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