- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - A court-appointed trustee says the owners of the New York Mets reaped profits from Bernard Madoff’s financial Ponzi scheme even as they shopped for insurance to protect themselves in case the scam collapsed.

Trustee Irving Picard says partners in Sterling Equities contacted a broker to ask about insuring their account with Madoff in February 2001. In one handwritten note, court records say partner Arthur Friedman wrote the insurance should cover “fraud or fidelity” with the word “Ponzi” in parentheses. Picard filed the court documents Thursday.

Picard claims Sterling partners knew Madoff was stealing from new investors to pay off older investors. He wants them to repay $1 billion to Madoff’s victims.

Sterling denies it knew about Madoff’s wrongdoing. In a written statement, the group said there were no “red flags and they received no warnings.”

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