In Madoff case, Mets' owners will shoulder burden of proof
The Wilpon family, who owns the New York Mets, will be tasked with proving their innocence in an upcoming jury trial surrounding the Bernie Madoff financial scandal, a judge has ruled.
On Wednesday, federal judge Jed S. Rykoff ruled that the “burden of proving, by a preponderance of evidence” rests on Wilpon and Katz. In the words of the Times's Richard Sandomir: "To establish that they were not willfully blind, the Mets’ owners will have to show that they saw no evidence that Madoff might have been committing a fraud — as they have argued in their court papers — did not purposely ignore it, or failed to appreciate it if they did see it."
And now comes occasion to use one of the Internet's great acronyms: IANALB. IANALB, this seems like at least a mild setback for the defense. Indeed, the New York Daily News quotes one Stuart Slotnik, who is a real-life lawyer with a briefcase and everything, as saying Judge Rykoff's ruling puts Wilpon and Katz in "a bad position." Slotnik also says it's still possible the two sides will settle before the jury trial begins on Monday.
Mets fans, of course, will be rooting for the outcome that most swiftly leads to new ownership.