Statements from Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz, & their attorneys

The following statements have been issued by the parties involved in today’s settlement between Wilpon/Katz and the trustee in the ‘clawback’ lawsuit in the Bernard Madoff case:

The defendants attorneys, Robert F. Wise Jr. from Davis Polk:

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“The settlement that was announced in court this morning brings to an end the litigation and affirms that Mr. Wilpon and Mr. Katz and their partners acted at all times in the utmost good faith—that they were not willfully blind. The trustee has expressly said in the settlement that after reviewing all of the evidence, he has decided to drop the willful blindness claims. The settlement amount is based on the withdrawal of profits during the six-year period before the Madoff bankruptcy and is on the same basis as all of the other settlements that the trustee has concluded with other good faith victims of the Madoff fraud. The Sterling Partners’ claims against the bankruptcy estate will be honored in full and they will be treated the same way that the claims of all the other Madoff victims have been treated. Until the end of the fourth year, all of the payments on the $162 million will come from the recoveries against the Madoff estate. Mr. Wilpon, Mr. Katz, their families, and their partners are pleased to have this litigation over with and behind them. They look forward to moving ahead.”

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Fred Wilpon:

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“I am very pleased for ourselves and our families to get the litigation behind us. I want to thank everybody, because this really was a team effort. Our partners were fantastic— our families were behind us and our friends. Mario Cuomo did a great job—he never gave up. As we’ve said from the very beginning when this lawsuit started, we are not willfully blind, we never were, we acted in good faith, and we’re very pleased that this settlement bears that out. That’s very important to us. Now I guess I can smile—maybe I can take a day off, but I can’t wait to get back to our businesses which I love. The first order of business and the first priority will be getting down to Florida tomorrow, getting to the spring training camp, and trying to bring the New York Mets back to the prominence that our fans deserve and the City of New York deserves.”

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