April 7, 2009 / 10:01 PM / 11 years ago

Madoff's Mets baseball tickets may soon go on eBay

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bernard Madoff’s $80,000 New York Mets baseball season tickets may be sold — sort of — to the highest bidder on eBay.

Accused swindler Bernard Madoff enters the Manhattan federal court house in New York, March 12, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The trustee liquidating Madoff’s assets wants court permission to sell the tickets in an online auction and use the proceeds to help reimburse Madoff’s defrauded customers.

But the buyer will not get Madoff’s exact seats.

Madoff’s tickets were for two seats in the second row behind home plate in the Delta Club Platinum section and had a face value of about $80,191, or $295 to $695 per single ticket.

Court-appointed trustee Irving Picard has worked out a deal with the Mets to exchange Madoff’s seats for two less expensive ones a few sections over and a few rows back with a face value of $60,750.

The trustee would get a $19,440 refund for the difference between the platinum and gold seats, a lawyer for the trustee said in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing on Tuesday.

“While the tickets are still for excellent and exclusive seats, it is the view of the trustee that the less expensive tickets will be more marketable, especially given the current economic environment,” attorney Marc Hirschfield wrote.

The Mets are due to play their first regular season home game in their new ballpark, Citi Field, in the New York City borough of Queens, on April 13.

Madoff’s tickets include access to the Delta Sky360 club at the stadium and a parking pass.

Madoff pleaded guilty last month to running the biggest investment fraud in Wall Street’s history, which prosecutors have said bilked investors out of as much as $65 billion. He is in jail and could be sent to prison for the rest of his life when sentenced in June.

The once-respected money manager was known for being a Mets fan. The team’s owner, Fred Wilpon, was among thousands of investors defrauded by Madoff.

The trustee is typically required to seek court approval before disposing of any of Madoff’s assets.

Reporting by Martha Graybow; Editing by Toni Reinhold

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