WOODBURY - (AP) - The New York Mets owners and a trustee for Bernard Madoff's fraud victims settled Monday for $162 million in a case aimed at undoing the damage from a massive investment scheme. The Mets owners will not pay anything for three years. Jury selection had been set to begin in a civil trial to determine how much the team owners will owe other investors who trusted their money to Madoff. Trustee Irving Picard had argued that the Mets owners knew that Madoff's corrupt investment scheme was a fraud but continued their investments anyway because they were making a lot of money. Lawyers for the owners insist their clients had no idea the former NASDAQ chairman was cheating thousands of investors of their roughly $20 billion investment for at least two decades.
Both Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, principal Mets owners, were in court Monday at the defense table. Judge Jed Rakoff said Picard had reviewed the evidence and will no longer pursue a claim of "willful blindness" against the defendants.
Trustee: Mets' owners looked for fraud insurance