If Bill de Blasio really wants to do this, if he’s really determined to stop Steve Cohen from buying the Mets for $ 2.4 billion and not just trying to score a few points in a few circles by sustaining the injury. brand, the mayor of New York City is best to hire some good lawyers.
Because you know Cohen, as well as his fictional counterpart Bobby Axelrod in “Billions,” using his own damn barn of prize suitors. A pair of experts in the field agree that, although de Blasio will have a chance of winning by invoking the language in the Citi Field stadium lease between Mets and New York City, winning will require some significant legitimate gymnastics and, even if he scores a nasty win, Cohen can try other ways to get what he wants.
The keyword in the whole theoretical battle only happens to be consistent with what de Blasio wanted in this proceedings.
As Dan Stanco, partner and co-head of real estate practice at Ropes & Gray said on Thursday in a phone interview, “It will eventually come to an understanding of ̵6;control’ in this context. . “
Here’s how the lease, a copy obtained by The Post, reads about the key “Prohibited Person” clause, setting the standards for the type of aspiring Mets owners to be rejected: “Any a person who has been convicted of a crime that commits a felony or any crime related to immorality or is an organized crime figure or is believed to have significant business or other association with an organized crime figure, either directly or indirectly controlled, controlled by or under common control with a Person who has been convicted in a criminal proceeding for felony or misdemeanor any crime involving unethical conduct or being an organized crime figure or alleged to have substantial business or other relationships with an organized crime figure. “
Well, it’s a mouth, so let’s break it up: Cohen himself hasn’t been convicted of any charges, so you can throw it out. Will his former hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, pleaded guilty to insider trading in 2013, making Cohen a “organized crime figure”? Seems like a stretch.
Kris Ferranti, a partner in the real estate group at Shearman & Sterling LLP, said Thursday in a phone interview: “Determining if a person is an organized crime figure under the lease or not is up to the landlord. “But it must be done in good faith. … In the context of this lease and the way we often understand ‘organized crime figures’, those are things like terrorist organizations, criminal siege, criminal organizations. “
That brings us to important “control” over a convicted person. As Stanco said, “If you understand that SAC Capital is controlled by Cohen – SAC literally stands for ‘Steven A. Cohen’ – eight of his traders have committed a crime or been convicted of trading. Insider, can be prosecuted as a felony. Pleading guilty in court is the same as being convicted. You cannot tell the difference there ”.
However, Ferranti emphasizes: “The key here is how control is often defined in leases and other contracts. It is usually in the context of an entity rather than an individual. In the classical sense of how that term is often used in contracts, you do not ‘control’ the individuals. “
Furthermore, if de Blasio gets a nasty win, that doesn’t necessarily mean the end for Cohen. “The reality is that Cohen will be able to structure around it by including the lease into an entity or trust he has no control over,” Stanco said. If he can accurately differentiate the ownership of the team from the tenant on the lease, Cohen will be able to make it work. “
As The Post reported on Wednesday, Mets hired two law firms to test de Blasio’s juice in this regard, and both companies concluded that the city would not take a stance against the purchased from Cohen.
It could be a win for him to just bang his chest and assert his involvement here, to fill his name in the Mets-Cohen story. I hate to be the one who breaks it for you, but that’s all some politicians really care about in the end.