NEW YORK, March 21 (UPI) -- The owners of the New York Mets said they are being denied due process in their defense of accusations they knew investor Bernard Madoff was a crook.
In court papers filed Sunday, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz said court appointed trustee Irving Picard had refused to share depositions that would help them clear their names, despite the point that they are cooperating in the case, they said, The New York Times reported Monday.
The owners are denying they had reason to suspect Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff was engaged in fraud.
They also said they were not sophisticated investors who might have concluded on their own that Madoff, who is serving a 150-year prison sentence, was running a Ponzi scheme.
Picard, who is seeking about $1 billion from the Mets owners, contends that the chief investment strategist at their holding company Sterling Equities had told Wilpon and Katz in an email that Madoff's returns were "too good to be true."
That email from December 2008 was followed up by one from Peter Stamos, a business partner, who said hedge fund Sterling Stamos had suspicions about Madoff's firm.
However, Wilpon and Katz claim there is evidence to the contrary. Court papers claim partner Peter Stamos said he was "embarrassed to say that I said to Mr. Katz on a number of occasions that my assumption is that Mr. Madoff is the most honest and honorable man."