Mets owner Fred Wilpon is taking his strongest stance yet, defending his team from charges it benefited from Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
The Mets are being sued by the trustee for Madoff's victims, who claims the team profited nearly $300 million from the fraud.
Wilpon says he and team president Saul Katz have done nothing wrong, and will fight any allegation they could or should have known the profits from Madoff were part of a giant scheme.
"We did not know one iota, one thing about Madoff's fraud,” said Wilpon, who is with the team in Port St. Lucie, Fla. for spring training. “We didn't do anything wrong. If anything we trusted a friend for a very long time. As I told you a few months ago, that betrayal is very difficult for me because this was a man, we were friends for 35 years and investors for 25 years. Having said that, we will be vindicated."
Involvement with the Madoff scandal has forced the Wilpons to put partial ownership of the Mets up for sale, though they say they will maintain control of the team.
Madoff recently said in his first prison interview that the Wilpons knew nothing of his scheme.