Mets owners settle in Madoff lawsuit

The owners of the New York Mets will pay up to $162 million to settle a “clawback” lawsuit filed in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Fred Wilpon and his brother-in-law Saul Katz will not have to make payments for three years under the agreement.

The lawsuit was settled March 19 in a federal court in Manhattan just hours before jury selection was set to begin in the civil trial.

Irving Picard, the trustee charged with recovering billions of dollars in assets stolen in Madoff’s scheme, filed the lawsuit seeking more than $300 million that Wilpon and Katz allegedly made through the scam.

Picard has filed hundreds of similar lawsuits to regain money from those who profited the most from the scheme. The money will go into a fund to help Madoff’s victims. Picard reportedly has recovered about $11 billion of the invested principal lost in the scheme.

The Mets’ owners had to sell part of the National League team and have had to cut payroll because of the ramifications of the scheme and lawsuit. — jta