On Monday, WCCO reported that New Jersey Court Judge Deanne Wilson determined that Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf would pay a whopping $84.5 million in damages to his former business partners Ada Reichmann and her brother, Josef Halpern. In August, Judge Wilson determined that Zygi Wilf, his brother Mike and cousin Leonard, defrauded Reichmann and Halpern, 21-years-ago. The plaintiffs, were suing Wilf for $51 million. Judge Wilson stated, prior to making the damages amount known, that Wilf & Co. blatantly robbed the plaintiffs, during their 1980s real estate deal in Montville, New Jersey. “This was no accident. It was done on purpose,” said Judge Wilson.
Zygi will be responsible for paying 60% of the bill. Mike and Leonard are responsible for 20% respectfully. It's save to say that Zygi's bill will be close to $51 million. The Minnesota Sports Facility Authority recently finished an investigation into Wilfs' finances. They determined that Wilfs' would be able to cover the $477 million construction costs for the new Vikings stadium.
Last month Gov. Mark Dayton requested that the MSFA, start an investigation into the states and city of Minneapolis' deal with the Vikings. Because of the investigation, the entire project was brought to a screeching halt. The Vikings and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have been boosting that the stadium will open before the start of the 2016 season.
When determining the amount, Judge Wilson looked at compensatory damages, punitive damages and redistribution of profits dating back to 1992. It's also important to know that this is the longest civil case in the history of New Jersey and has had 4-different judges. Judge Wilson has even delayed her retirement so that she would be the judge who finished the case. It took Judge Wilson 22 months to make a final ruling and she submitted a 1,200 page opinion.
The case is so important for the Wilfs', that they didn't attend the hearing today. The plaintiffs aren't $84.5 million richer yet, Wilf & Co. can still file an appeal, delaying any payouts.