Mets Owners Say Madoff Trustee Engaged In "Character Assassination"

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Complaining about leaks to the media, lawyers for the owners of the New York Mets accused the Madoff Trustee of 'character assassination."

    But the Mets' lawyers would not say if a sealed civil complaint detailing the allegations should be seen by the public. Instead, they voiced anger at lawyers associated with trustee Irving Picard who they accuse of leaking information in violation of the sealing order.

    NBCNewYork and the New York Times have filed a motion asking a bankruptcy judge to unseal all records relating to the hundreds of millions in alleged ill-gotten profits the Mets' owners might have received over the years they were tied to Madoff.

    The Mets lawyers said they would like to continue secret negotiations to settle with the Trustee over the millions owed. They also claimed the lawsuit is not of 'public interest' as issues involving the Mets "although perhaps a subject of general interest and entertainment, do not give give rise to a matter of 'public interest' that requires immediate unsealing of the Sterling complaint."

    After filing the complaint in secret and then objecting to a reporter's request to seek access to the Mets-related documents, the trustee now said in his own legal papers he will side with the press and support making the documents public.

    NBCNewYork and the New York Times filed a motion with a bankruptcy judge questioning why the parties are attempting to keep from public view the records about the Mets and their connection to the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.

    The judge said he will consider releasing the documents at a hearing February 9.

    The New York Times reported last week the Mets' owners may have taken out hundreds of millions more than they put in to Madoff investments.

    The team announced it will try to sell up to 25% of the team to try to raise funds to pay back that money.

    Fred Wilpon and others associates invested with Madoff for years and have long denied the baseball team is at risk as a result of those investments.

    The Times reported the trustee alleges Wilpon and others should have recognized the red flags of the Ponzi scheme.

    The Wilpons and other Mets owners have denied any wrongdoing.