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NEW YORK (Reuters)—A firm run by owners of the New York Mets baseball team has agreed in principle to settle a lawsuit by employees who said they lost millions of dollars in retirement money that was invested with Bernard Madoff.
The July 2010 lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of current and former Sterling Equities employees accused Sterling, Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon and two other 401(k) plan trustees of breaching their fiduciary duties by mishandling investments with Madoff and his firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities L.L.C.
According to the complaint, Sterling invested $16.2 million, or 92%, of the plan's $17.6 million of assets with Madoff. There were 267 plan participants at the start of 2008, the complaint said.
In a filing made public on Tuesday at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, lawyers for Sterling and the plaintiffs said the agreement in principle identifies "the primary terms" of a settlement. Both sides hope to file a settlement "as promptly as practicable," perhaps as soon as this month.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. A lawyer for Sterling did not immediately return a call for comment.
Mets owners also face a $386 million lawsuit by Irving Picard, the trustee seeking money for Madoff's victims. Mr. Picard accused the owners of turning a blind eye to the Ponzi scheme. Mr. Madoff, 73, is serving a 150-year prison term.
The case is Goldweber vs. Sterling Equities Associates et al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-05786.
NEW YORK (Reuters)—The trustee recovering money for victims of Bernard Madoff's epic fraud can seek $386 million at most from owners of the New York Mets baseball team who invested in Madoff's firm, a federal judge said.