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The New York Mets owners have agreed to pay $162 million to settle a $303 million case by the liquidator of Bernie Madoff's firm, Bloomberg is reporting.  Jury selection and opening statements in the trial were expected to start later today, but Bloomberg reports that  "Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and related defendants reached the settlement with the liquidator, trustee Irving Picard, March 16, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said today."  

The Wall Street Journal reports Picard, had accused Wilpon, Katz and their business partners for willfully ignoring the signs Madoff was carrying out a fraud, since they and the team allegedly benefitted from the scheme.  ESPN reports:

Judge Jed Rakoff ruled several weeks ago that the Mets owners must pay up to $83 million in fictitious profits they received over the years from Madoff.

Had they gone to trial, they could have owed another $303 million. Lawyers for the Mets have said they planned to call pitcher Sandy Koufax to testify on their behalf. He invested with Madoff, too.

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