Tag Archives: bernie madoff

Mets ranked sixth most valuable team in baseball


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

The Mets are the sixth most valuable team in Major League Baseball according to Forbes, possibly putting to rest concerns the team is underwater on the financial front.

Forbes listed the Amazin’s value at $811 million – a 13-percent increase from last year. The crosstown rival Yankees ranked first with a $2.3 billion worth.

Between the two teams are the L.A. Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively. The San Francisco Giants, who played at the Polo Grounds until 1957, ranked just behind the Mets – worth $786 million.

With the average value of a team at about $744 million, the Mets just place above the norm despite financial woes since the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme reportedly put the Mets’ bank account in the red.

Co-owner Fred Wilpon said earlier this year, however, that the team was on its way back up and all money lost nearly five years ago has been remade.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with snow. High of 36. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 80%. Tuesday night: Overcast with snow. Low of 30. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of snow 80%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Free comedy show in Sunnyside

Check out this free comedy show at The Courtyard Ale House in Sunnyside. The show is on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month at 9 p.m. and features the best stand-up comedians in the city. The show is free, no drink minimum, nothing! Just come out and laugh! Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Delayed insurance checks for Sandy victims could slow recovery

Superstorm Sandy ripped up the roof of Matt Piccione’s Breezy Point home and deluged his basement with water, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages. Read more: New York Daily News

NYPD stop-and-frisk report under scrutiny

The NYPD has released a report that breaks down its controversial stop and frisk policy by precinct and race. Read more: Fox New York

Mets eye casino at Citi to help offset losses suffered in Bernie Madoff scandal

It’s an Amazin’ gamble The Mets’ owners want to roll the dice on building a Las Vegas-style casino next to Citi Field to recoup some of the $162 million for which team brass are still on the hook following the Bernie Madoff Ponzi-scheme debacle, plans obtained by The Post reveal. Read more: New York Post

State plan to buy homes at risk of future storm damage awaits federal approval

Governor Andrew Cuomo laid out his plan Monday to buy Hurricane Sandy-ravaged homes in areas at risk of future storm damage. Read more: NY1

Ed Koch remembered as New York City’s ‘quintessential mayor’

Remembered as a man with a “big brain, but an even bigger heart,” thousands said goodbye Monday to New York City’s “quintessential mayor,” Ed Koch. Read more: CBS New York

Report: New York-Newark fourth most traffic congested area in nation

An annual study of national driving patterns shows that Americans spent 5.5 billion additional hours sitting in traffic in 2011. Read more: CBS New York

Biggest gas price jump in two years

The weekly average price of a gallon of regular gas is $3.54, up 18 cents from a week earlier.  That’s the biggest weekly price increase in two years, according to the Department of Energy. Read more: ABC News

Patience running thin in Queens


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

photo - rotundaw

Hope may spring eternal, but patience is running thin in Queens.

The New York Mets enter the 2012 season as significant underdogs in one of Major League Baseball’s best divisions. As good as the National League East became this offseason – with Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle joining the Miami Marlins, the emerging Washington Nationals getting scarier by the day, and the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves still going strong – the Mets did little to help their chances of shocking the baseball world this year.

Supporters stopped coming to the ballpark by the thousands in 2011, and attendance will likely suffer again this season with the Mets projected to be the NL East cellar dwellers. The only thing more frightening than the Mets’ bullpen is the team’s lineup – go ahead tell me the batters hitting one through eight…don’t worry, I’ll wait for you to stop gasping for air.

Fans are beginning to get fed up with the product on the field, lack of exciting new talent, ownership’s financial troubles and the out-of-control injury situation – seriously, how was the entire medical staff not sent packing after Ike Davis’ initially ordinary ankle injury cost him the entire 2011 campaign?

Despite no significant additions being made to the team – during one of the most talented free agent pools in history, I might add – there are certain developments Mets fans can actually look forward to this season.

First and foremost, the Wilpons settled their suit with the victims of Bernie Madoff and had only moderate damage – a measly $162 million over five years – compared to the $303 million the Mets owners would have paid if they lost in court. The Wilpons have already completed the sale of 12 minority shares of the team for $240 million and repaid $65 million in loans, and they have now reportedly promised to begin reinvesting in the club again.

The agreement should allow the owners to cease selling any more of the team like they are homes of MC Hammer and settle down financially. Mets fans can begin dreaming again of days when free agents flock to Willets Point to don the blue and orange.

Johan Santana returned to his rightful place as the team’s Opening Day starter on April 5. Santana, who missed the entire 2011 season with a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder, can make Mets fans gleeful once every five games – if, and it is a monumental IF, he is healthy and looks remotely like he did before getting injured. Santana has always been a pleasure to watch, and he should draw crowds on the days he hits the mound.

The starters are the sole visible bright spot for the team, with Santana, the tireless R.A. Dickey and youngsters Dillon Gee and Jonathon Niese – who will hopefully take another step forward this season. The Mets can also feel optimism about hurlers Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler soon joining the big leagues.

Lastly, 2012 marks the 50-year anniversary of the Metropolitans, and the organization has planned a number of festivities to commemorate the milestone, including the return of Banner Day and a series of alumni bobblehead giveaways representing each decade of the team’s history.

This should keep Mets fans’ minds and eyes away from the field – at least the organization hopes so.

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Mets Owners Sell Team Shares Following $162M Settlement With Madoff Victims’ Trustee

Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz last week sold 12 minority stakes in the troubled franchise worth $240 million, using the proceeds to pay off Major League Baseball and reduce the team’s crippling debt, The Post has learned. With the moves, the team now has breathing room with its lenders and — combined with yesterday’s Picard settlement — appears to have saved the franchise. Read More: NY1

 

Mets owners could actually make money in Madoff settlement

It’s the biggest win for the Mets since 1986 — but a huge letdown for the fans. The team’s stingy owners will remain at the helm after striking a sweetheart settlement with the lawyer tasked with recouping billions from Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme — and the deal actually casts them as victims of the fraud. The deal heads off a risky jury trial, where a loss could have cost owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz up to $383 million and control of the franchise. Read More: New York Post

 

Rangers edge Devils, clinch playoff spot in East

Brandon Dubinsky scored shortly after a fight-filled opening faceoff, and the Rangers became the first Eastern Conference team to earn a playoff spot by beating the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Monday night. Three fights broke out at the outset and that seemed to jump-start the Rangers, who had lost two straight and five of seven as their once commanding lead in the East dwindled to almost nothing. Read More: New York Post

 

Trayvon Martin shooting: Feds to investigate killing of unarmed black teen by Florida neighborhood watch captain

The growing national attention – and outcry – over the case of an unarmed black teen in Florida who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch captain has culminated with the federal government’s announcement that it will launch an investigation. The announcement late Monday by the Justice Department followed a day of protests calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman, 28, who claims he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last month in self-defense during a confrontation in a gated community. Read More: Daily News

 

Cops nab burglary suspect — but hunt for ‘Vaseline Bandit’ continues

Police who were already hunting for a burglar who has brazenly pulled off 14 apartment break-ins in Upper Manhattan — using Vaseline to block door peepholes — captured another apartment thief re-handed, casually watching TV, in the middle of a heist tonight. But law enforcement sources said the 20-something perp is not the so-called Vaseline Bandit, who is in his 50s. Read More: New York Post

 

Government may make it easier for airlines to allow passengers to use personal electronic devices during takeoffs and landings

The government is taking a tentative step toward making it easier for airlines to allow passengers to use personal electronic devices such as tablets, e-readers and music players during takeoffs and landings. The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is “exploring ways to bring together all of the key stakeholders involved” – including airlines, aircraft manufacturers, consumer electronics makers, and flight attendant unions – to discuss whether there are practical ways to test devices to see if they are safe for passengers to use during critical phases of flight. Read More: Daily News

 

Peyton Manning finalizing contract with Broncos

All that’s needed is Peyton Manning’s autograph. After being pursued by teams around the NFL, the QB with four MVP awards is headed to the land of John Elway and Tim Tebow, agreeing to a contract with Denver that could make the Broncos an instant Super Bowl contender. It could also send one of the NFL’s most intriguing young players packing. So much for Tebowmania. Manning called Elway on Monday morning and told the Broncos executive that he had chosen Denver over the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers in the wildest free-agent chase of the offseason. Read More: Yahoo Sports

 

3 wounded in Harlem shooting

A gunman shot three men across from a Harlem playground this afternoon, police said. The unknown assailant blasted his victims in front of a deli across from the St. Nicholas Playground on West 129th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue about 2:30 p.m., cops said. A 30-year-old man was wounded in the left hand and leg, a 25-year-old was shot in the left leg, and a 23-year-old was wounded in the butt, authorities said. Read More: New York Post

 

NYPD Ups Security In Wake Of Jewish School Shooting In France

The NYPD yesterday deployed hundreds of cops to synagogues and Jewish neighborhoods citywide after a gunman fatally shot three kids and a rabbi at a Jewish school in France. “Obviously, we’re concerned about what happened in Toulouse,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said of the shooting. Read More: NY1

 

Jail guard shot

An off-duty Rikers correction officer was shot by her boyfriend last night outside a Queens diner, police sources said. The woman was hit in the stomach near the USA Diner on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton at 10:50 p.m., cops said. The shooter fled. It wasn’t immediately clear what sparked the fight. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Gangster’ sought in groom slay

They picked the wrong guy to push around. The Staten Island restaurant worker reportedly thrown to the ground by groom-to-be Anthony Lacertosa and his boozing buddies was purported Albanian gangster Redinel Dervishaj, who then allegedly killed Lacertosa with a butcher knife. Investigators believe Dervishaj, 35, has since fled the city, a law-enforcement source said. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Mad Men’ star Jon Hamm sticks to his guns in calling Kim Kardashian an ‘idiot’

Square-jawed “Mad Men” actor Jon Hamm is sick of your stupid shtick. Channeling his straight-shooting character Don Draper,  Hamm put Kim Kardashian in her place Monday, dissing the curvaceous celebutard yet again. NBC “Today” show host Matt Lauer asked the AMC retro-series actor to clarify the earlier comments he made to Elle UK about Kardashian being a famous-for-being-famous “idiot,” which the reality starlet called “careless.” Read More: Daily News

Mets owners settle with Madoff trustee for $162 million


| jlane@queenscourier.com


The Mets owners and a trustee for Bernard Madoff’s fraud victims have settled for $162 million. The Mets owners will not pay anything for three years. Jury selection had been set to begin in a civil trial to determine how much the team owners will owe other investors who trusted their money to Madoff.

Read more: New York Post

 

 

Mets’ Owners Prepare For Trial About Their Madoff Connections


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Mets’ Owners Prepare For Trial About Their Madoff Connections

As the New York Mets prepare for another baseball season, lawyers for the team’s owners are prepping for something that can hardly be called a game. A nine-person jury will soon be charged with deciding whether the owners and their affiliates owe up to another $303 million to the trustee overseeing Bernard Madoff’s former firm. The trustee claims Fred Wilpon and others intentionally ignored red flags about Madoff’s scheme, a claim lawyers for the team’s owners reject. Read More: NY1

 

Grieving kin hurt in funeral smashup

A limousine carrying mourners during a funeral procession in Queens plowed into a bodega after getting cut off by a minivan yesterday — injuring 16 people, including the deceased’s daughter and granddaughter. The motorcade was headed to Pinelawn Cemetery on Long Island around 11:30 a.m. to bury 94-year-old Delores Godfrey when the minivan clipped the back of a Ford Expedition and struck the limo on Guy R. Brewer Boulevard. Read More: New York Post

Queens Lawmakers Push For “Synthetic Marijuana” Ban

City Councilman Ruben Wills and other southeast Queens elected officials are pushing for a ban on a type of incense that they say kids smoke and call “synthetic marijuana.” Read More: NY1

 

 

Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, wants to change name

Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown plans to change her name to lose her link to her father, Bobby Brown, TMZ reported. The 19 year old, who will inherit her late mom’s entire estate while her dad will receive nothing, told friends she will become “Kristina Houston.” Read More: New York Post

 

Staten Island woman dies after getting trapped in clothing drop box

A Staten Island woman who climbed into a clothing drop box suffocated and died inside after the box’s metal door closed on her head and trapped her yesterday, cops said. Melissa Mazzeo, 51, crawled into the large metal box in Sunnyside at about noon — in an apparent attempt to steal the donated clothing. Mazzeo was caught in the box’s opening when the door swung shut on her head as she tried to climb out, cops said. Read More: New York Post

Jamaica money pit

Another day, another taxpayer boondoggle in Jamaica. Two years after it opened as an “incubator” for small businesses, the $2.5 million Jamaica Export Centre — built with mostly taxpayer cash — is virtually deserted. The dusty reception desk, which was supposed to serve up to eight businesses, is unoccupied. Downstairs, a meeting room is empty, and a sign out front says it is available for baby showers and birthday parties. Read More: New York Post

Ex-Met Dykstra sentenced to 3 years in Calif. prison for car scam


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Ex-Met Dykstra sentenced to 3 years in Calif. prison for car scam

Former New York Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra was sentenced Monday to three years in state prison in a grand theft auto case. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig sentenced Dykstra after refusing to allow him to withdraw a no-contest plea. The judge said the theft scheme showed sophistication and extensive planning. Dykstra was immediately remanded to custody and he walked into the court’s back room, hands in his pockets. Read More: New York Post

 

Judge says trustee can go after phony $83M profits Mets owners received from Madoff Ponzi scheme

The Mets’ owners will have to cough up their phony profits from investing with Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, a judge ruled today. But Manhattan federal Judge Jed Rakoff said the exact amount — which Madoff bankruptcy trustee Irving Picard pegged at $83.3 million — “will be determined in a subsequent order and may require further briefing and oral argument.” Read More: New York Post

 

MTA won’t give cancer survivor door-to-door service

It’s been a rough ride for a 69-year-old, retired school teacher from Brooklyn. The MTA is refusing to provide door-to-door “Access-A-Ride” service for ailing grandmother Iris Marcus, who fought off stage-three breast cancer seven years ago but says she can’t walk more than several steps without feeling severe pain from a degenerative back disease and diabetes-induced ulcerated feet. For six years, the Midwood senior relied on Access-A-Ride to commute to her doctors and other destinations. Read More: New York Post

NYPD’s Muslim Surveillance Efforts Get Show Of Support

Muslim leaders joined Long Island Congressman Peter King today in support of the New York City Police Department’s efforts that some say unfairly target Muslims. The group spoke this morning at a news conference outside police headquarters organized by the American Islamic Leadership Coalition. They say the police department’s counter-terrorism efforts – including the monitoring of Muslim communities in and around the city and at area colleges – is necessary to keep New Yorkers safe. Read More: NY1

 

Demi Moore heads home to LA after rehab

Demi Moore has returned to Los Angeles following a stint in rehab. Moore, 49, appeared relaxed and tanned as she emerged from her private plane Sunday evening donning a white sweater and jean shorts with an unidentified man as her escort, in photos obtained by TMZ. Read More: New York Post

 

Christina Hendricks, Olivia Munn nude photo scandal: Hacker leaks stars’ racy cell phone pictures online

The two latest victims in Hollywood’s ongoing nude photo hacking scandal, Christina Hendricks and Olivia Munn, are claiming that though some of the released personal photos are of them, others are most definitely not. Namely, the naked ones. A full-frontal nude photo allegedly of Munn, 31, surfaced on the Internet Sunday, but sources close to her deny that the snaps are of the “I Don’t Know How She Does It” actress, according to TMZ. Read More: Daily News