Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 3/5/12

A judge ruled on Monday that New York Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon must pay as much as $83 million to the trustee attempting to recover funds for those involved in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff also ruled that the sides will go to trial on March 19 over an additional $303 million - the amount trustee Irving H. Picard is seeking.

The Wilpons' lawyers were seeking to have the case tossed out entirely.

Picard detailed that he was entitled to the Ponzi scheme profit - approximately $83 million - which was made by the Wilpons prior to Madoff's arrest on Dec. 11, 2008.

The trustee proposed that the Mets profited from the investments and ignored warnings that Madoff's high returns might not have been accurate. It is Picard's claim that the owners should have known about the fraud given their decades-long relationship with Madoff.

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