Judge Jed s. Rakoff ruled this morning that the Met ownership group, led by Fred Wilpon, will face a jury trial on the question of whether they were willfully blind to Bernie Madoff’s scheme, beginning on March 19. I will be there to cover the trial and provide daily updates on the blog, along with the baseball coverage, because nothing will impact the Mets on the field nearly as much as the future financial viability and/or survival of their ownership.
The judge also ruled in favor of Irving Picard, trustee for the Bernie Madoff victims, on the question of whether Wilpon and his partners owe approximately $83 million in fictitious profits over the final two years of Madoff’s fraud. Exactly how soon, and how completely, that needs to be paid will go a long way toward determining how capable Wilpon and his partners will be of surviving the month financially intact.
More to follow on this, obviously. But before a judge who has been quite helpful to the Wilpon side in the past year, the owners did about as poorly as they could have today.