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The trustee seeking to recover money for victims of Bernard Madoff's massive fraud has filed a suit against Sterling Equities in an attempt to recover millions of dollars. Mets owner Fred Wilpon helps head Sterling Equities.
Sterling Equities put out a statement saying the firm was in negotiations to try to settle the lawsuit and stressed the New York Mets "will have the necessary financial and operational resources to fully compete and win."
The Wilpon family originally was believed to be Madoff victims. But the trustee apparently believes family members and the company took out millions more than ever put in. Details of the allegations are secret because the trustee Irving Picard filed the lawsuit under seal.
In another major Madoff related development, the US Attorney announced $625 million dollars was being seized from Boston businessman Carl Shapiro. Shapiro, who had invested hundredsof millions with Madoff over 40 years, but withdrew even more cash. His improper 'profits' are being 'disgorged, prosecutors said.
"By requiring him to forfeit this money - more than he is currently worth - the Government ...has sent an important message: those who profited as a result of Bernie Madoff's fraud shouold disgorge those profits, which are rightfully other people's money" US Attorney Preet Bharara said.
The Shapiro family does not admit wrongdoing. The millions recovered will be administered by Picard to return to those individuals and charities that lost money in the Madoff scheme.
The deadline for civil action to recover ill-gotten funds is Saturday - the two year anniversary of the Madoff scheme. That is in part why in recent weeks the Trustee has filed a flurry of lawsuits to try to recover billions from banks and individuals - including UBS, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC and other Madoff-related feeder funds.
Madoff is serving a life sentence for orchestrating the $65 billion dollar fraud.
"This agreement represents a financially rewarding outcome and it is a strong example of the progress we are making in assembling the largest fund possible for the benefit of BLMIS customers with valid claims," said Mr. Picard.