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 until they exhaust appeals of her opinion in the long-running case.
Wilson allowed the Wilfs to file a second appeal of her order that the Wilfs 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 while his 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, but he felt “a tremendous sense of relief.”
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” Wilson made.
“Many of her rulings are without precedent,” he said. “She has created her own rules.”
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Attorneys representing Minnesota Vikings owners Zygi, Mark and Leonard Wilf will make the case to keep the net worth of their clients sealed and push to limit the penalties they must pay in a real estate fraud case.
The judge says Vikings owners and cousin will likely be asked to post bond valued at judgment, fees and interest - probably more than $100 million - and to sell the apartment complex at the center of a lawsuit.