2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Vikings owners face $84.5M fine in NJ case

By PATRICK CONDON - Associated Press
    2013-09-23 19:06

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A judge in New Jersey on Monday ordered Minnesota Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf and their cousin Leonard Wilf to pay $84.5 million to two former business partners who she previously ruled they had defrauded in a 1980s real estate deal.

The ruling from Superior Court Judge Deanne Wilson covered compensatory and punitive damages to plaintiffs Josef Halpern and Ada Reichmann. It also includes a redistribution of real estate profits dating to the lawsuit's initial filing, in 1992. Attorneys for the Wilfs promised an appeal.

Wilson ruled last month that the Wilfs had committed fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, and violated the state's civil racketeering laws. In a stinging rebuke, Wilson said then that Zygi Wilf demonstrated ``bad faith and evil motive'' in his trial testimony.

``We believe this decision will not stand on appeal,'' said Peter Harvey, an attorney for the Wilfs. He, along with Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley, once again vowed the legal troubles would have no bearing on the Wilfs' ability to meet the Vikings' $477 million commitment on the $1 billion football stadium planned for downtown Minneapolis.

Zygi Wilf leads an ownership group, which includes Mark Wilf, that bought the Vikings in 2005 for $600 million.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton pushed hard for taxpayer funding of the stadium and often stood with the Wilfs at news conferences. But after Wilson's first ruling, Dayton said the lawsuit highlighted business practices by the Wilfs that ``are far from the legal standards for doing business in Minnesota.''

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is supervising the stadium project, quickly launched a review of the Wilfs' finances and legal troubles, to ensure they could still meet the Vikings' $477 million commitment to the nearly $1 billion stadium. Taxpayers are covering the rest.

That review wrapped up earlier this month and found the Wilfs should have no problem meeting their commitment even in the face of the heaviest possible fines. The attorney who conducted the review described the Wilfs' wealth as ``significant.''

The team is also eligible for an NFL loan of up to $200 million, and the stadium legislation lets them receive money from stadium naming rights and from seat licenses for season-ticket holders.

Halpern, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and his sister Reichmann, of Toronto, had said the Wilfs cheated them out of their share of profits from a 764-unit apartment complex in Montville, N.J. Halpern had been the complex's longtime manager.

An attorney for Halpern did not immediately return an email from The Associated Press seeking comment on the ruling.

The stadium authority's review of the Wilfs' legal troubles raised one red flag: that under New Jersey law, the civil verdict could trigger criminal investigations by state or county prosecutors in the state. But Harvey said such criminal probes of civil verdicts are extremely rare.

``While it may be an area of curiosity, as a matter of fact it just doesn't happen,'' Harvey said. He predicted that the long-running case would probably not be resolved by the planned 2016 opening of the new stadium.

``The stadium will be built and there will be an opening kickoff long before this is decided by the appellate court and likely, the New Jersey Supreme Court,'' Harvey said. ``It has no impact on stadium construction.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jamarca SanfordMar 6 01:33p

New Orleans Saints SS Jamarca Sanford re-signed to a one-year contract Friday, March 6. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Brandon MarshallMar 6 01:23p

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall was traded to the New York Jets in exchange for a fifth-round pick, pending a physical, per a league source.

Niles PaulMar 6 12:33p

Washington Redskins TE Niles Paul re-signed Friday, March 6. Paul could earn up to a little under $10 million with the new contract.

Matt PraterMar 6 12:13p

Detroit Lions PK Matt Prater signed a three-year, $9 million contract extension Friday, March 6.

Marques ColstonMar 6 10:43a

New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston restructured his contract Friday, March 6, and will return in 2015.

Reggie WayneMar 6 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne will not be re-signed for 2015, the team announced Friday, March 6.

Jerome SimpsonMar 5 05:33p

Free-agent WR Jerome Simpson (Vikings) signed a two-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers Thursday, March 5.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 5 05:13p

Oakland Raiders LB LaMarr Woodley was officially released Thursday, March 5.

Vince WilforkMar 5 01:23p

Free-agent DT Vince Wilfork (Patriots) said he still plans to play in 2015, and he could return to the New England Patriots. 'Can I still play football? Hell yea! [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 5 01:03p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's meeting with head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman Wednesday, March 4, went well after the parties spent more than four hours [ More ]

Peyton ManningMar 5 12:53p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning officially passed his physical and will return for the 2015 season.

Dwayne BoweMar 5 11:53a

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe my be cut if the team can not trade him.

Vince WilforkMar 5 09:53a

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork announced that the Patriots will not pick up his option for the 2015 season, which makes him a free agent.

Darnell DockettMar 5 09:53a

Free-agent DE Darnell Dockett (Cardinals) agreed with the San Francisco 49ers Thursday, March 5, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Keith RiversMar 4 08:23p

Free-agent LB Keith Rivers (Bills) signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys Wednesday, March 4. Rivers will add depth to the team's linebacking group. He has plenty of [ More ]

Matt CasselMar 4 07:53p

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel was traded to the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, March 4. The Bills swapped their 2015 fifth-round pick for the Vikings 2015 sixth-round draft pick. Minnesota [ More ]

Pierre ThomasMar 4 07:53p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas was released Wednesday, March 4.

Trent ColeMar 4 04:13p

Philadelphia Eagles LB Trent Cole was officially cut Wednesday, March 4.

DeMeco RyansMar 4 01:03p

Philadelphia Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans (Achilles'), who tore his Achilles' halfway through the 2014 season, probably won't be back with the team after they acquired LB Kiko Alonso from [ More ]

Andre JohnsonMar 4 11:23a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson has asked the team to release him this offseason.

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group