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Wilfs lose battle to keep net worth sealed

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The Wilf family, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, have lost a court battle in their quest to keep their net worth under wraps. But they aren't giving up the figure yet.

A state appeals court in New Jersey has issued a ruling declining to hear the family's arguments against the public disclosure of their wealth, the Star-Ledger in Newark reports. The appeal denial came in the form of a one-page ruling from a two-judge panel, the newspaper reported.

The Wilfs were fighting a September court ruling that ordered them to disclose their worth as part of a ruling that the family must pay $84.5 million in damages in a long-simmering New Jersey real estate case that ended with a two-year trial. In the case, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Deanne Wilson ruled that Vikings principal owner Zygmunt “Zygi” Wilf, his brother, Mark, and their cousin, Leonard, for more than two decades cheated former business partners out of revenues from a 764-unit apartment complex called Rachel Gardens in Montville, New Jersey, one of more than 200 apartment complexes owned by the family.

The Wilfs argued that revealing specifics about their wealth amounted to an invasion of privacy and might put their children and grandchildren in danger. They also said "anti-wealth bias" is behind efforts to get them to disclose the figures.

The recent appeals panel allowed the Wilfs to keep their net worth hidden at least until a judge issues a final order in the case, which could come within a few days, the Star-Ledger reports.

But a lawyer for the Wilf family said he planned to keep the figure under wraps even then. He plans to seek court permission to keep the net worth sealed pending the Wilfs' full appeal of the entire case, the Star-Ledger reports.

Opposing lawyers have said that Zygi Wilf’s net worth is estimated at between $310 million and $1.3 billion.

The Wilfs are on the hook to pay about half the cost to construct the new $1 billion Vikings stadium, and they have said the lawsuit will not affect their ability to pay their share.

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