Wilfs slapped with $103 million judgment, ordered to post $110 million appeal bond

If Vikings owners lose appeal, wealth could be disclosed by mid-February.

hide

Minnesota Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf stood on the field before a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers in London.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– A New Jersey state judge on Friday punished Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf and their cousin, Leonard Wilf, with $103 million in damages, fees, interest and expenses for defrauding and deceiving business partners in the operation of an apartment complex in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City.

Judge Deanne Wilson ordered the Wilfs to post a $110 million bond by Jan. 8 that will be held for three years or until they exhaust their appeals in the long-running case.

Wilson also allowed the Wilfs to file a second appeal of her order that their personal wealth be made public as part of the suit.

“If the appellate court denies that appeal, we’ll be able to disclose their wealth in mid-February,” said Alan Lebensfeld, the lawyer for Josef Halpern, who was awarded roughly $40 million in judgments. Halpern’s sister and co-plaintiff, Ada Reichmann, was awarded roughly $63 million.

“On the merits [the Wilfs’ personal wealth] should be disclosed, and we believe it will be,” Lebensfeld said.

The case still has “a long way to go” before any potential payout, he said, but he felt “a tremendous sense of relief” that Wilson had entered an order in a case that had its beginnings in 1992.

The Wilfs’ legal team leader, former New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey, promised a comprehensive appeal of what he called “a number of serious errors” by the judge.

“Many of her rulings are without precedent,” said Harvey, who now works in private practice. “She has created her own rules.”

Harvey said the Wilfs will seek to block the release of their personal net worth and to delay sale of the Rachel Gardens apartment complex that is at the center of the lawsuit.

Harvey said that Wilson’s legal interpretations aside, the judge should not have heard the case because her husband, an attorney, has represented the law firm of one of the plaintiffs.

Wilson could not be reached Friday to comment.

No impact on stadium

State officials said that the ruling is unlikely to affect the Wilfs’ participation in a public-private partnership to build a billion-dollar Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis or their opinion of the Wilfs as business partners in light of the New Jersey ruling.

“I would encourage you to reach out to the [Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority] for additional comment,” said Matt Swenson, press secretary for Gov. Mark Dayton. “There is a signed agreement between the stadium authority and the team, and it is our expectation that the stadium authority has done its due diligence to ensure the sanctity of that agreement.”

Michele Kelm-Helgen, the authority’s chairwoman, said its review of the Wilf family finances accounted for potential penalties in the New Jersey fraud case.

“It won’t have any impact on the stadium financing,” she said. “They’re clearly able to continue with their investment.”

Harvey said posting a $110 million bond was not a problem for the Wilfs. According to Wilson, the Wilfs own 30,000 to 50,000 apartment units, more than 100 other properties, two hotels and a charter airline.

The bond includes the full amount of the final judgment plus three years interest and a cushion to cover extra legal fees that Reichmann and Halpern could incur during the appeal process.

  • related content

  • Fearing a free-for-all, Vikings add security for final game at Dome

    Saturday December 21, 2013

    The Minnesota Vikings plan extra security for their final game at the Metrodome next weekend to avoid a repeat of...

  • Zygi and Mark Wilf “have ample assets to cover the costs,” counsel Peter Harvey said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Samardzija 1
St. Louis - LP: M. Wacha 1 FINAL
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 3
Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: C. Morton 3
Toronto - WP: S. Delabar 3 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: M. Rzepczynski 2
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 11 FINAL
Detroit - LP: D. Smyly 6
Atlanta - WP: A. Harang 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 8 FINAL
Boston - LP: J. Lackey 4
NY Yankees - LP: A. Warren 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. McGee 11
Seattle - LP: Y. Medina 4 FINAL
Miami - WP: S. Cishek 8
Chicago WSox - LP: F. Paulino 0 FINAL
Texas - WP: M. Perez 12
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 0 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Vargas 5
Philadelphia - LP: J. Pettibone 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: T. Chatwood 12
Houston - LP: J. Cosart 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 11
San Francisco - LP: M. Cain 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Ross 2
Arizona - WP: J. Thatcher 4 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: C. Perez 2
Montreal 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay 1
Detroit 1 FINAL
Boston 0
Dallas 2 FINAL
Anaheim 3
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will you boo Jared Allen when he returns with the Bears?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close