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Mets Case Could Expose MLB Books

Publication Date: 
February 11, 2011
Source: 
MSN Fox Sports
Author: 
Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal

Professor G. Marcus Cole commented on the effect that the Bernie Madoff investigation has had on the New York Mets and the ability to trace funds. MSN Fox Sports reporters, Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal, filed the following story:

The Bernie Madoff investigation has affected some of America’s most influential investors and banks while recouping more than $6 billion in claims on behalf of victims.

An exposure of Major League Baseball financial information could come next.

Litigation against owners of the New York Mets in connection with the Madoff Ponzi scheme may result in the subpoenaing of financial documents from MLB’s central office, legal experts and industry observers said this week in interviews with FOXSports.com.

...

“If the trustee is able to trace funds from the Madoff scheme to any accounts of the Mets, he’s going to be able to open up the books and follow that money in the discovery process,” said G. Marcus Cole, a Stanford Law School professor and expert on bankruptcy law. “That’s for certain.”

...

Picard, as the representative for those who were defrauded by Madoff, is entitled to discover “anything that might reveal relevant information” about the whereabouts of the fund proceeds, according to Cole, the Stanford professor. So if Picard establishes that the Mets cut a check from a Madoff-funded account in order to satisfy an obligation to baseball — the revenue-sharing plan, for example — he could ask MLB to tell him where the money went.

...

“If this proceeds to litigation, it’s going to be difficult for MLB to keep that information out of the public record,” Cole said. “That puts another interesting twist on this. It might be worth Major League Baseball’s while to enter into a settlement agreement where they contributed something to the victims.”