A new lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan has been brought against Sterling Equities Associates, which owns the Mets, baseball team and also named Fred Wilpon, the Mets chief executive officer and principle owner for letting their workers put more than $16 million in 401k assets into accounts controlled by Bernard Madoff.
The complaint alleges that Sterling Equities and several of its top executives should have known that Madoff was carrying out a massive Ponzi scheme that cost thousands of investors billions of dollars.
Victims of a Ponzi scheme in Orange County were given the opportunity to speak during the sentencing phase for a man who was convicted on 693 felony counts for defrauding more than 125 seniors out of their life saving in a Ponzi scheme.
Jeffrey Gordon Butler, who was convicted in June of stealing more than $11 million from elderly investors through the illegal sale of unqualified promissory notes or stocks and filing false tax returns on his ill-gained profits, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney’s office.
Butler, 51, was found guilty by a jury on charges of making untrue statements in selling securities and unqualified securities, theft from elderly people, using a scheme to defraud in the sale of a security, filing false tax returns from 2001 to 2004 and failing to report income of more than $5.5 million, resulting in an unpaid tax liability of more than $530,000.
He faces a maximum sentence of more than 300 years in state prison.
The scheme is named after Charles Ponzi, who became notorious for using the technique in early 1920. He had emigrated from Italy to the United States in 1903. Ponzi did not invent the scheme. Charles Dickens’ 1857 novel Little Dorrit described such a scheme decades before Ponzi was born, but Charles Ponzi’s operation took in so much money that it was the first to become known throughout the United States. His original scheme was in theory based on arbitraging international reply coupons for postage stamps, but soon diverted investors’ money to support payments to earlier investors and Ponzi’s personal wealth.