The New York Mets' owners have reached a tentative settlement with a widow who said they should be held accountable for losing more than $16 million in 401(k) assets by investing with incarcerated financier Bernard Madoff, lawyers said in court papers Tuesday.
The settlement would resolve a 2010 lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against Sterling Equities Associates, which owns the Mets, and Fred Wilpon, the Mets' chief executive officer and principal owner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In the lawsuit filed by Elyse S. Goldweber, it was alleged that Sterling Equities and several of its top executives should have known that Madoff was carrying out a massive Ponzi scheme that cost thousands of investors billions of dollars.
The lawsuit said Goldweber was the beneficiary of a 401(k) plan built by her late husband, David A. Sloss. It said the majority of her husband's retirement — $280,420 — was invested with Madoff and was "wiped out."
Though Goldweber was the only person who filed the lawsuit, her lawyers had sought class-action status.
The lawsuit said 92 percent of the retirement fund's assets were invested with Madoff. It did not say how many people were affected.
Lawyers in the case did not immediately comment.
At the time the lawsuit was filed in July 2010, Sterling said the complaint had no merit, adding that its 401(k) plan and participants in the plan also were victims of Madoff's scam.
Madoff, 72, revealed his fraud in December 2008, pleaded guilty to fraud charges and is serving a 150-year prison sentence.