A U.S. District Court Judge ruled today that Fred Wilpon, the Mets principal owner, must pay as much as $83 million to the trustee in charge of recovering funds for those who lost money in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, according to ESPN New York.
The judge also ruled that Wilpon will be forced to go to trial March 19 to determine if he owes an additional $303 million that the trustee is seeking.
The $83 million motion was filed to order Wilpon to repay “fictitious profits” that the trustee believed the Wilpon family made from the scheme. The trustee is also seeking another $303 million from the family for “willful blindness.” Last spring the Mets had attempted to sell a $200 million stake in the team, but were unable to find an ownership group to purchase a single stake that large in the team. This spring the team announced they had sold several minority shares of the team in order to raise money to repay loans.