According to a New York Times report, Sterling Equities (the owner of the New York Mets) served as a protective middleman between Bernie Madoff’s firm and dozens of investors who were encouraged to give their money to Madoff, but were forbidden to meet or to talk to him.
Sterling’s partners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz often recommend Madoff to friends and employees, but all transactions had to be routed through Sterling’s own partner, Arthur Friedman, who is also a board member for the Mets.
The arrangement allowed for Sterling to recruit a steady stream of new investors for Madoff, while also serving as protective barrier against those who might ask too many questions. Only those who agreed to let Sterling handle all the details were allowed to invest.
The question still remains as to whether Sterling’s partners were willing participants in the fraud or just useful fools. Either option seems plausible at this point, but it looks like Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz will have to prove themselves to be very foolish in order to escape unharmed.
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