Thursday, February 10, 2011
Updated: February 11, 10:50 AM ET
Mario Cuomo appointed mediator
By Adam Rubin
Former New York State Gov. Mario Cuomo has been appointed as a mediator in trustee Irving Picard's lawsuit against New York Mets owners.
The lawsuit seeks to recover $1 billion to disburse to victims of convicted swindler Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
The order was filed Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York by Judge Burton R. Lifland.
The order indicates both sides approved the appointment.
Picard's suit was originally filed in December and unsealed last Friday.
He alleges the Wilpons made $300 million in "false profits" -- money withdrawn over principal -- from certain accounts with Madoff. The other $700 million sought by Picard is principal, which the trustee alleges Mets ownership should forfeit as well because they knew, or should have known, about the Ponzi scheme.
Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and team president Saul Katz -- all named in the suit -- have denied knowing Madoff was operating a Ponzi scheme. They add that government regulators allowed Madoff to operate the fraud for years without catching him and suggest it's thus unfair to assert they should have known about the scam.
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.