NEW YORK – Bernie Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme led to a former New York Mets owner who was indicted in a $ 1 billion lawsuit, died in prison at the age of 82.
Madoff burned thousands of investors, bad regulators, and served 150 years in prison.He died of natural causes at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina.
Among his victims are director Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Holocaust survivor Elivie Sel. But he has ties to athletes as well.Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax is a client and former Mets owners Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz are major investors. Their involvement changed the trajectory of franchising.
Wilpon and Katz have more than 500 accounts with Madoff and have been sued for $ 1billion by the trustee for victims claiming they knew or should have known about the fraudulent returns from Madoff’s projects, according to The New. York Times
Madoff is known for its double-digit payoff and word spread.Koufax is Wilpon’s high school friend Tim Teufel, former Mets proctor, former Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman and former player. New York Islander Bob Nystrom is also investing in Madoff.
In addition, the Mets Limited Partnership, the New York Mets Foundation, and the Brooklyn Baseball Company, a minority owned Brooklyn Cyclone company, hold accounts with Madoff.
While Madoff did business with the rich and famous. But he defrauds investors and charities every day. He was so exposed that he had to wear a bulletproof vest to court.
Madoff admitted to prosecutors that he had lost more than $ 50 billion belonging to investors.
The collapse of his Ponzi scheme had a huge impact on Mets’ finances, forcing Wilpons to take on a $ 65 million loan to meet payroll, including $ 25 million from baseball owners. The team previously negotiated complex contracts deferred money – including Bobby Bonilla’s infamous deal that paid retirees $ 1 million a year through 2035 to fund Madoff’s investments.
“Bernie is part of the business plan for the Mets,” a former employee of the team told The New York Times in 2011.
The downsides reduced the team’s salary from $ 140 million in 2011 to $ 95 million in 2012 to $ 85 million in 2014 due to the increase in salaries throughout the game. slowly
Steve Cohen, the current Mets owner, bought a $ 20 million minority stake in Mets following the collapse of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, eventually buying the majority ownership of the franchise from the Wilpon and Katz families in a month. September 2020
Madoff pleaded guilty in March 2009 to securities fraud and other charges.In June 2009, a judge forfeited $ 171 billion, which led Madoff to deduct all of his personal assets, including 80 million real estate, investments and assets. dollar
The scandal also calls for the death of Madoff’s family: one of his sons, Mark, committed suicide on the 2nd anniversary of his father’s arrest in 2010, and Mother’s brother Peter. Doff, who helped run the business, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2012 despite claims he was in the dark about his brother’s misconduct.
Madoff’s other son Andrew died of cancer at the age of 48.Madoff’s wife Ruth is still alive.
Information from The Associated Press is used in this report.