NY judge gives formal approval to Madoff-Mets deal

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NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal judge has approved the settlement of a lawsuit brought by a trustee for Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff's victims against the owners of the New York Mets.

The approval was granted Thursday by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. He noted there were no written complaints filed after the deal was announced in March.

The judge says his only regret is Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax won't appear in his courtroom. Koufax was a possible witness in a trial canceled when the settlement was reached just before jury selection was to begin.

The settlement calls for the Mets' owners to pay up to $162 million but nothing for four years. The deal was structured so the owners will pay much less than the maximum depending on what happens to their claims against Madoff's estate.