The Picard/Wilpons/Mets Settlement Effort Calls for a Closer, as the Court Hearing on Final Approval Is Delayed – Installment 77

May 9, 2012Articles White Collar Defense & Compliance Blog

Those who were eagerly anticipating the final dénouement on May 15, 2012, in the epic battle between Madoff Trustee Irving Picard and the numerous defendants, constituting the Wilpon-Katz-Mets individual, business, family trust and charitable interests (collectively, the “Wilpons”), will apparently have to wait at least until May 31, 2012. The approval of the final Settlement Agreement by Federal District Judge Jed S. Rakoff, originally scheduled to occur at a hearing on May 15, 2012 at 4 p.m., has been postponed until May 31, 2012 at 4 p.m.

Counsel for the Trustee filed a “Notice of Rescheduled Hearing For Entry of Order” (the “Notice”)and an explanatory letter to Judge Rakoff (the “Letter”) on May 4 and May 7, 2012, respectively. The Letter stated:

[T]he Court granted the request [in the Notice] and rescheduled the hearing date to May 31, 2012, at 4:00 p.m., fixed May 24, as the date for any objections to be filed and served, and May 29 as the date on which any reply may be filed and served.

The Letter further provided the following in response to Judge Rakoff’s request for an explanation of the Notice filing:

The reason for the postponement is to ensure that notice has been properly given in accordance with the applicable Bankruptcy Rules. . . .

Because the notice of hearing was not filed and docketed in the main SIPA proceeding [in the Bankruptcy Court], the master service list did not receive notice in accordance with Bankruptcy Rules 2002(a)(3) and 9019(a) and the Bankruptcy Order Limiting Notice. We requested the postponement to provide all those on the master service list in the main SIPA proceeding with a copy of the “Notice of Rescheduled Hearing,” a copy of which is attached. We also will serve notice of the rescheduled hearing date and related dates to all interested parties in this action and file affidavits of service in the Bankruptcy Court and this Court before the rescheduled hearing date.

We regret any inconvenience to the Court and the parties.

[Installments 75 and 76 in this blog series had raised some questions relating to the inclusion in the global Settlement of charitable private foundations formed by the Wilpons.]

[To be continued in Installment 78]