NY Mets owners settle in Madoff-related case

NEW YORK - (AP) - The New York Mets owners and a trustee forBernard Madoff's fraud victims settled Monday for $162 million in acase aimed at undoing the damage from a massive investment scheme.

The Mets owners will not pay anything for three years.

Jury selection had been set to begin in a civil trial todetermine how much the team owners will owe other investors whotrusted their money to Madoff.

Trustee Irving Picard had argued that the Mets owners knew thatMadoff's corrupt investment scheme was a fraud but continued theirinvestments anyway because they were making a lot of money.

Lawyers for the owners insist their clients had no idea theformer NASDAQ chairman was cheating thousands of investors of theirroughly $20 billion investment for at least two decades.

Both Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, principal Mets owners, were incourt Monday at the defense table.

Judge Jed Rakoff said Picard had reviewed the evidence and willno longer pursue a claim of "willful blindness" against thedefendants.

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