Fred Wilpon Net Worth: Career & Investment Scandal

Fred Wilpon
Fred Wilpon (Source: MLB News, Scores, Video | NBC Sports’ HardballTalk – NBC Sports)

Former American baseball executive and real estate developer Fred Wilpon’s net worth is a staggering $800 million. 

On November 22, 1936, he was born in Brooklyn, New York City, USA.

Fred was a part-owner of the “New York Mets” from 1987 to 2002 and then sole owner from 2002 to 2020.

Wilpon made his first fortune as a co-founder of “Sterling Equities,” a commercial property development company.

Fred Wilpon Posing For The Camera (Source: Queens College/CUNY)
Fred Wilpon Posing For The Camera (Source: Queens College/CUNY)

He and his brother-in-law, Saul Katz, co-founded the firm.

Furthermore, Fred was a high-profile victim of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, in which he lost a significant amount of money.

We’ll discuss his loss in detail later on in the article please keep reading to find out about his life and other information.

Fred Wilpon | Quick Facts

Let’s look at quick facts to understand more about Fred Wilpon.

Birth Name Fred Wilpon
Professional Name Fred Wilpon
Nick Name Wilpon, Fred
Birth Date November 22, 1936
Age 85 Years Old
Birth Place Brooklyn, New York City, USA
Height 170 cm (5 feet 7 inches)
Gender Male
Build Average
Net Worth $800 million
Religion Jewish
Hair Color White
Profession Real estate Developer, Executive
Nationality American
Father’s Name Nathan Wilpon
Mother’s Name Frances
Weight
70 kg (154.32 lbs.)
Horoscope Capricorn
Ethnicity Caucasian
Siblings Richard Wilpon and Iris Katz
High School Lafayette High School
College University of Michigan
Sexual Orientation Straight
Marital Status Married
Spouse Judy Kessler
Children 3
Active Since 1972-Present
Merch Signed Photo, Autographed Baseball
Last Update October 2022

Fred Wilpon | Net Worth and Income

Multi-talented businessman and real estate investor Fred Wilpon has a whopping net worth of $800 million.

In 1980, Wilpon bought one-percent ownership in the “New York Mets” after owner Charles Shipman Payson sold the organization.

The remaining portion was held by “Doubleday & Co.,” a publishing corporation. Wilpon gradually increased his holdings to 5%.

When Doubleday chairman Nelson Doubleday Jr. sold his company to “Bertelsmann AG” in 1986, he and Wilpon agreed to purchase the Mets for $81 million, split 50/50.

The Wilpon family then purchased the other half of the franchise from Doubleday for $391 million in 2002, giving Fred sole control of the team.

From 1980 to 2002, Wilpon served as president of the Mets, CEO from 1980 through 2020, and chairperson of the company from 2002 to 2020.

A billionaire hedge fund investor, Steve Cohen, agreed to purchase 95 percent of the Mets for $2.4 billion in September 2020.

Similarly, Fred is also the chairman of “Sterling Equities,” which has a revenue of $31 million.

Investment Scandal

Wilpon became involved in Bernard Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scam as one of the clients who spent a big sum of money with him.

Fred was said to have lost roughly $700 million when the scam failed in 2008.

However, later report revealed that Wilpon and his family had profited from Madoff by roughly $300 million.

As a result, Irving Picard filed a lawsuit about Madoff’s Ponzi scheme victims in 2010.

Fred released a statement requesting a strategic partner to buy about a 25% interest in the Mets to offset pending lawsuit losses.

Wilpon utilized Madoff to manage the Mets’ finances, and Madoff’s capitals were used to cover team expenses and pay for the construction of Citi Field and SportsNet New York.

Similarly, he agreed to pay $162 million to settle Picard’s case in 2012. Wilpon was implicated in another Ponzi fraud perpetrated by fund manager Samuel Israel III with his partner Saul Katz.

Furthermore, after Israel’s hedge fund failed, Wilpon and Katz were compelled to pay $13 million to shareholders.

Fred Wilpon’s Net Worth in Different Currencies

Let’s look into Fred Wilpon’s net worth in different currencies, including the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Currency Net Worth
Euro € 760,200,000
Pound Sterling £ 653,196,000
Australian Dollar A$ 1,152,065,600
Canadian Dollar C$ 1,038,908,000
Indian Rupee ₹ 62,054,840,000
Bitcoin ฿ 2,6765.54

Fred Wilpon | Houses & Cars

Houses 

Wilpon owns a lovely property in New York’s Locust Valley.

Similarly, he also has purchased a house in Aspen.

However, the details about his estate are not revealed to the general public to protect his privacy.

Inside Wilpon House (Source: Mansion Global)
Inside Wilpon House (Source: Mansion Global)

In 2021, a property built in the 1830s was listed by Fred for $25 million in the market.

He spent two years restoring the building’s front facade while redeveloping everything.

The 7,058-square-foot home is located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and features five stories, five bedrooms, and many outdoor spaces, including a terraced backyard and a rooftop deck.

Cars

As of October 2022, Fred Wilpon’s net worth is a massive $800 million.

There are no specifics concerning his car collection and we were unable to find any information.

He must, however, have a few automobiles in his garage, given his multi-million dollars in his bank.

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Fred Wilpon | Lifestyle and Vacations

Lifestyle

One of the richest real estate investors and baseball team executive, Fred Wilpon, lives a luxurious lifestyle with a net worth of $800 million.

Wilpon grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, in a Jewish household. Nathan, his father, was a funeral home manager.

Fred attended Lafayette High School as a teenager. He played in the same club as future Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, with whom he remained friends.

After finishing high school, Fred enrolled in the University of Michigan, where he pitched for the baseball team in his rookie year before an injury ended his career.

Finally, Wilpon completed his study at Michigan in 1958, where he majored in Arts.

Wilpon married Judy Kessler, whom he met while in college. They graduated the same year and married shortly after.

Jeff, Robin, and Bruce are the couple’s three children. Robin is married to Phillip Wachtler, the son of former New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sol Wachtler.

Jeff was the Mets’ COO until 2020 when he moved to Sterling Equities as executive vice president. Bruce, on the other hand, is a Sterling Equities partner.

Wilpon is so wealthy that he and his wife, Judy, had agreed that they would not keep another dollar of their riches a few years before.

They are so well-funded that they decided to gift the remainder of their inheritance during their lifetimes rather than leave it to someone else to sort out after they die.

Vacation

Wilpon has gone to various countries around the world as enabled by his prosperous lifestyle.

Fred often spends his free time watching baseball matches from the stadium.

In fact, as a past owner of a team, he spent an awful amount of time in the field.

He has a vacation house in Palm Beach, where he spends time with family. 

Fred Wilpon | Charity

Fred has contributed to charity since the start of his career.

Wilpon established the “Judy and Fred Wilpon Family Foundation” with his wife.

Morris B. Kessler and The Irene Presidential Scholarship Fund was established with a $5 million donation from the foundation to the University of Michigan’s College.

The foundation has also given $5 million to the University of Michigan Bone and Joint Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Center and $4 million to the Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex.

Fred has given the institution more than $75 million in total, with $61 million going to the Kessler program.

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Fred Wilpon | Movies & Investments

Movies

Aside from business, Fred has starred in a few movies and television series. According to IMDb, he has two self credits.

In 1980, Wilpon was featured in a television series called “Kiner’s Korner.”

Similarly, in 2019, he appeared in a documentary, “Seaver.”

Investment

Fred Wilpon’s net worth as of October 2022 is a massive $800 million.

In 1971, Fred co-founded “Sterling Equities,” a real estate investment firm that he grew from owning properties in New York City solely to owning properties in 43 states.

Sterling Equities has been a successful owner, investor, developer, advisor, construction manager, borrower, joint-venture partner, and fund operator in the real estate value chain.

The company has acquired, developed, or co-developed roughly 35.2 million square feet of real estate directly and through its financial institutions.

As a result, the company has made a fortune for Wilpon.

Similarly, his biggest investment was buying “The New York Mets,” one of the most popular teams in the NBA.

The Mets have made nine postseason appearances, winning the World Series twice (in 1969 and 1986) and five National League championships (most recently in 2000 and 2015).

However, Fred sold the team in 2020 for $2.4 billion.

Fred Wilpon | Career

With his brother-in-law Saul Katz, he went on to found “Sterling Equities,” a commercial property development company, in 1972.

Its portfolio includes real estate, sports, and media interests predominantly in New York.

The Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball franchise, SportsNet New York, the eSports team New York Excelsior and Sterling Project Development are among these entities.

Fred Wilpon (Source: NPR)

They were quite successful with a townhouse development in Tarrytown, a Westchester County neighborhood.

In order to reduce their tax liabilities, they purchased tax-favored real estate around the country.

The resolve turned out to be a blessing because they unintentionally purchased property at the bottom of the market.

Moreover, Fred is still the chairman of the corporation.

Some Interesting Facts About Fred Wilpon

  • Fred briefly worked as a calculator salesman after finishing college.
  • Wilpon was a passionate baseball fan who pitched until he got hurt during his freshman year in college.
  • Wilpon had reportedly lost about $700 million because of the investment scandal, which was later said to be false. In fact, he earned about $300 million.

FAQs

How much did Fred Wilpon pay to Madoff’s victims?

Fred ultimately agreed to pay the Madoff victims’ trust $162 million.

Why did Fred Wilpon sell the Mets?

Under the Wilpons’ exclusive control, the Mets failed to win any championships, and economic losses hindered their final twelve years from the Ponzi scheme.

Is Fred Wilpon doing well?

Yes, Fred is healthy and doing great.

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