The New York Mets' owners may have to return some of $300 million in profits they made dealing with Bernie Madoff, but their $700 million principal is probably safe. A judge has decided that for trustee Irving Picard to pursue the Mets owners' principal investment, he must prove that they were "willfully blind" to the fraudulent nature of Madoff's enterprise, the Wall Street Journal reports. The ruling could make it harder for Picard to win back large sums from others.
The judge threw out nine of the 11 claims made against the Mets' owners by Picard, who is attempting to claw back money to repay victims of Madoff's Ponzi scheme. The owners—who are trying to sell a stake in the team to resolve their financial issues— sought to have the entire case dismissed, arguing that they "never suspected Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme or any other fraudulent enterprise, never shopped for fraud insurance, never thought they needed fraud insurance." (Read more Bernard Madoff stories.)