Mets owners owe at most $61M to Madoff victims' trustee

NEW YORK (AP) The New York Mets' primary owners and their affiliates owe at most about $61 million to the trustee for Bernard Madoff's fraud victims and have reached an agreement to defer some of what is due until 2020.

Under a deal reached four years ago that avoided a trial in federal court, Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and their affiliates agreed with trustee Irving Picard to pay a maximum $162 million.

Picard said Tuesday that his legal team had succeeded in recoveries that have been distributed to victims that were sufficient to reduce the amount to $61,233,343. Under the original agreement, the Wilpon/Katz entities were to pay $23,321,931 on June 1 this year and $37,911,412 on June 1 next year.

As part of a new agreement, Picard said the Wilpon/Katz entities owe $16 million by this June 1, with the balance due in annual installments each year from 2017-20. The balance accumulates interest at a 3.5 percent rate.

In a joint statement, Picard and the Wilpon/Katz entities said they expect additional interest payments to total a minimum of about $2.2 million. Wilpon, the Mets' controlling owner, and Katz, his brother-in-law and the team president, increased personal guarantees to cover the entire unpaid balance.

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