MINNEAPOLIS -- A New Jersey Judge plans to unseal documents detailing the net worth of Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf and their cousin Leonard, as part of ongoing proceedings in an epic civil case dating back to 1992.
Judge Deanna Wilson already ruled that the Wilf's intentionally deprived their business partners in a New Jersey apartment complex of their fair share of profits, in violation of that state's civil fraud laws.
Judge Wilson is currently in the process of determining what damages to award to the plaintiffs, Josef Halpern of Brooklyn and Ada Reichmann of Toronto.
Monday the judge took arguments on whether to seal the Wilf group's financial documents. According to a published report in the New Jersey Star Ledger, the Judge has decided to unseal the document and will issue a formal ruling Tuesday.
Even if Wilson were to order the documents unsealed, they would not be made public until after the Wilfs have a chance appeal the ruling.
The words Judge Wilson used to describe the Wilfs' treatment of their partners in the Rachel Gardens complex caught the attention of Governor Mark Dayton last month.
It led the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the agency overseeing construction of the new Vikings stadium, to hire a consultant to do a due diligence review of the Wilfs' finances.
The stadium board revealed last week they were satisfied that the Wilfs have the financial wherewithal to pay their $477 million share of the $975 million football stadium the Vikings will inhabit beginning in 2016.
The New Jersey court system issued the copies of the arguments for and against sealing the documents Monday.
The first document is a memorandum from the Wilf's attorney, Sheppard Guryan.
In his letter Guryan asserts that the Vikings owners would be harmed irreparably by the release of the information, and the information in the documents would lead to violations of the family's personal privacy.
He argues the public has no compelling interest in seeing the information, "aside from the mere satisfaction of curiosity."
The second document is the response from the plaintiffs' lawyer, Alan Lebensfeld, who argued in favor of unsealing the documents.
He wrote the Wilf family's profile in Minnesota, and the public nature of the stadium project in Minneapolis itself are factors pointing to the need to disclose the net worth of the team's owners.
Governor Dayton Monday seemed to have moved beyond the Wilf's legal woes in New Jersey, tell members of the Capitol Press Corps that he's happy the due diligence review by the stadium board ended on a positive note.
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