Looks like the Fred & Jeff show will go on.
The Wilpons settled their civil suit with Irving Picard today, agreeing to pay $162M. In a sense, the Wilpons won by not having to go through a trial and risk paying $330M.
Of course, this is the same twisted definition of "winning" that Met fans have endured for years. We "win" when a player gets through an inning without a career-ending injury. We "win" when we only come in 4th place at season's end. We "win" when we move the fences in at our new stadium after three miserable years. And in a big win for Met fans, we get to keep the Wilpons as owners, ensuring years of mediocrity rooting for the underfunded, underwhelming home team.
What an unsettling feeling.Here are the details:
New York, New York - March 19, 2012 - A settlement has been announced
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York regarding the dispute between the SIPA Trustee for the liquidation
of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) and the partners
of Sterling Equities and related persons and entities.
The essential terms of the agreement, which are subject to certain
approvals, are that the Sterling parties have agreed to pay a sum to the
BLMIS Customer Fund equal to 100 percent of the fictitious profits of
approximately $162 million that were withdrawn by the Sterling parties
during the six-year period prior to the BLMIS liquidation proceeding --
the District Court had previously ruled that the Sterling parties were
liable for fictitious profits spanning only the two-year period prior to
the liquidation proceeding -- and that the SIPA Trustee has elected to
dismiss the amended complaint that alleged that the Sterling parties
were willfully blind to the fraud conducted by Bernard L. Madoff.
The Sterling parties' customer claims - which total approximately
$178 million - will be allowed in full and will be entitled to recovery
on the same basis as other BLMIS customers. The Sterling parties'
allowed claims are now assigned to the SIPA Trustee and any pro rata
distributions will be used to reduce the Sterling parties' settlement
David J. Sheehan, Chief Counsel to the SIPA Trustee states, "The SIPA
Trustee believes that this settlement represents the best possible
outcome for BLMIS Customers with allowed claims, as it provides for the
recovery of 100 percent of the $162 million in fictitious profits for
the six-year period. We believe that this is a fair and just settlement.
At the same time, the SIPA Trustee has withdrawn all willful blindness
claims against any Sterling party. All settlements negotiated by the
SIPA Trustee are predicated on the fact that the SIPA Trustee works for
the best interests of BLMIS customers. Settlement terms are reached to
create the maximum recovery for the BLMIS Customer Fund, taking into
consideration factors such as the vicissitudes of time-consuming
litigation and the financial situation of the parties involved."
The SIPA Trustee thanks Governor Mario Cuomo, who was appointed by
the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
to mediate the dispute between the SIPA Trustee for the liquidation of
Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) and the partners of
Sterling Equities and related persons and entities, over the past year.
He also thanks the Wilpon and Katz families and the other Sterling
Partners for setting a positive example by returning 100 percent of the
six-year fictitious profits to the Customer Fund.
At the appropriate time, the SIPA Trustee will file a Bankruptcy Rule
9019 motion with the court, which will include details of the
In addition to Mr. Sheehan, the Baker & Hostetler Counsel to the
SIPA Trustee who worked on Picard v. Saul Katz et al. include: Fernando
Bohorquez, Regina Griffin, Tracy Cole, Karin Scholz Jenson, Lauren
Resnick, Mark Kornfeld, Timothy Susanin, Kathryn Zunno, Jody Schechter,
Stacey Bell, Melissa Kosack, Amanda Fein and Brian Song.