The fallout from the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme is certain to affect the Mets and perhaps the Brooklyn Cyclones, as team owners and members of the team’s board of directors had literally hundreds of accounts with the fallen investment guru.
The fallout from the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme is certain to affect the Mets, as team owners and members of the team’s board of directors had literally hundreds of accounts with the fallen investment guru.
You know the story of former investment guru Bernard Madoff, who ended up not being the shrewd financial wizard everyone assumed but rather the tip of one of the largest Ponzi schemes in world history. (A Ponzi scheme relies on money from new customers, rather than return on existing investments, to satisfy money owed to previous investors.)
And various folks associated with the New York Mets and Brooklyn Cyclones (short season; NY-Penn League) were heavily invested with Madoff. Over 14,000 individuals and trusts were invested with Madoff, according to a list released Wednesday, and in those listings were hundreds of accounts associated with the Wilpon family, Sterling Equities (the corporation controlled by the Wilpons that owns, among other things, the Cyclones) and the Mets. In fact, there are 13 Mets accounts on record, including the team’s charitable foundation.
The Mets ownership has had a pretty rough week; on this score, the response is that the personal finances of the Wilpons are private, and that they’ll be ready to face the 2009 season in good shape. Perhaps. But we’re guessing the commissioner’s office has already made a few inquiries about precisely what’s happening with the team’s financial books, as the team faces a harsh financial picture for the season, between a $145 million payroll and debt payment starting on a new ballpark. That Citibank money looms awfully large right now, and maybe the lack of available cash is why Manny Ramirez still sits unemployed.