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SBD/March 19, 2012/Franchises
Mets Owners Reach Settlement With Madoff Trustee Picard For $162M
Published March 19, 2012
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WILPON ADDRESSES THE MEDIA: Wilpon today told reporters outside the courthouse, “As we’ve said from the very beginning when this lawsuit started, we are not willfully blind. We never were. We acted in good faith and we’re very pleased that this settlement bears that out. That’s very important to us.” Wilpon said he “definitely” feels his reputation has been cleared. After the impromptu press conference, SportsNet N.Y.'s Jonas Schwartz said a good reputation "was so important” for Wilpon and Katz to reclaim. Kallas said “it was important to their integrity, to their reputation and ... since the $162 million relates directly to the lost profits, it has nothing to do with the $303 million trial that was going to start today." Wilpon, Katz and their lawyers “will point out the trustee got zero" for the "willful blindness" claim. Schwartz: "In their minds -- and I think correctly -- that’s a big win for them, their character and their reputations” (SportsNet N.Y., 3/19). ESPN N.Y.’s Adam Rubin writes it is “unlikely the Wilpons would have settled unless they felt they could withstand that financial obligation without jeopardizing their ownership of the team.” Still, the Wilpons “are not out of the woods yet as owners.” It is going to “still be the Mets on austerity for a while,” and that means the Wilpons “will be utterly dependent upon fan attendance revenue in order to maintain ownership” (ESPNNY.com, 3/19).