Owner Fred Wilpon of the New York Mets addresses the media during spring training at Tradition Field on February 17 2011 in Port St. Lucie Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Mets' Owners Say Lawsuit By Madoff Trustee Is 'Work Of Fiction'

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Mets' Owners Call Madoff Lawsuit 'Work Of Fiction'

The owners of the New York Mets have fired a high, hard fastball at Irving Picard, the trustee recovering money for victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, calling his lawsuit against Mets ownership a “work of fiction.”

Picard is seeking $1 billion from the Mets owners, Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz, alleging that they knew, or should have known, that Madoff was operating a Ponzi scheme. The Wilpons and Katz filed their response Sunday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

“After months of damaging leaks, false accusations and withholding of evidence, we can finally legally respond to the work of fiction created by the Trustee,” Fred Wilpon and his brother-in-law Katz said in a statement. “Let us be very clear: We did not know that Madoff was engaged in a fraud. There were no red flags and we received no warnings.”

Mario Cuomo, former New York governor, has been appointed to mediate the dispute.

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Mario Cuomo To Mediate Mets-Madoff Dispute

Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo has been appointed to mediate the dispute between the trustee for the victims of the Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and Sterling Equities, who are accused of profiting from Madoff’s actions. Cuomo was appointed on Thursday by a federal bankruptcy judge in Manhattan.

Cuomo was New York state governor from 1983-94. Prior to that the New York Times reports that Cuomo served as a mediator in New York City public housing cases as far back as 1972.

Irving Picard is the Madoff trustee. The lawsuit contends that Wilpon and Katz, used the profits from their investments with Mr. Madoff to establish personal fortunes, enrich dozens of family trusts and financially fuel their array of businesses, from the Mets to real estate to a cable sports network.

The lawsuit further contends the two men, their families and their businesses “made so much easy money from Madoff for so long” that despite the many warnings they “chose to simply look the other way.”

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