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Bernard Madoff

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Fred Wilpon is the majority owner of the New York Mets. Wilpon was one of the investors who invested a significant amount of money with Bernard Madoff which was lost when the Ponzi scheme collapsed in December 2008. It was reported that Wilpon had "lost" about $700 million because of Madoff, which has led to speculation that he may be forced to sell the team. Reports later surfaced that Wilpon and his family actually made about $300 million with Madoff and had not lost money as previously reported. Wilpon was named in a lawsuit filed by Irving Picard on behalf of the victims of Madoff's investment scandal. Wilpon and his partner and brother-in-law Saul Katz were involved in another Ponzi scheme which was orchestrated by Samuel Israel III and they were forced to pay $13 million to investors when Israel's hedge fund collapsed. It was revealed that Wilpon utilized Madoff in running the Mets' finances. It became a common practice to negotiate deferred money into players' contracts and then put that money with Madoff to invest because they were able to make money for themselves before paying players. The lawsuit also contends that Madoff funds were used to cover team expenses such as payroll and its minor league club in Brooklyn, as well as financing the creation of the cable network SportsNet New York and Citi Field

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** FILE ** Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term for his Ponzi scheme that stole an estimated $36 billion from investors. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term for his Ponzi scheme that stole an estimated $36 billion from investors. (Associated Press)

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Bernard Madoff (U.S. Department of Justice 2009)

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Bernard Madoff (U.S. Department of Justice 2009)

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** FILE ** Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term for his Ponzi scheme that stole an estimated $36 billion from investors. (Associated Press)

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2_20120830-194517-pic-767190542_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

** FILE ** Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term for his Ponzi scheme that stole an estimated $36 billion from investors. (Associated Press)

20120830-194517-pic-767190542_2_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

20120830-194517-pic-767190542_2_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

** FILE ** Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term for his Ponzi scheme that stole an estimated $36 billion from investors. (Associated Press)

20120830-194517-pic-767190542.jpg

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Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term for his Ponzi scheme that stole an estimated $36 billion from investors. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

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** FILE ** Peter Madoff, brother of Bernard Madoff, attends a court hearing in Mineola State Supreme Court in Mineola, N.Y., on April 3, 2009. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, Pool)

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** FILE ** Peter Madoff, brother of Bernard Madoff, attends a court hearing in Mineola State Supreme Court in Mineola, N.Y., on April 3, 2009. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, Pool)