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Fees, fines, net worth: Wilfs face the music in New Jersey courtroom

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Attorneys for the Wilf family, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, will be in a New Jersey courtroom on Wednesday where they are expected to learn how much they will be required to pay former associates involved in a real estate dispute that began decades ago.

The Star Tribune reports that Superior Court Judge Deanne Wilson is also expected to reveal the Wilfs’ net worth. Earlier this week, a state appeals court denied a request to keep that information sealed. The appeals court allowed the Wilfs to keep their net worth under wraps until a final judgment was issued in the lawsuit. The Wilfs’ lead attorney is expected to ask the judge to delay the release of the net worth until there's been a full appeal of the case.

The New Jersey Star Ledger said that during the hearing, expected to last Wednesday through Friday, attorneys for the Wilfs will argue over the final figures to be awarded for damages, attorneys fees’ and costs in the real estate fraud case.

A judge has ruled that the Wilfs must pay $84.5 million to their former partners. When Wilson issues her final judgment, she also will decide whether to accept a recommendation that the Wilfs pay another $15.1 million to cover the plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs associated with the case. Last month, a special master recommended that the Wilfs pay the additional amount to cover costs incurred by their former business partners.

Wilson said she used the Wilfs’ net worth to calculate damages in the real estate case and that the public has a right to know what she based the ruling on. “The judiciary should be transparent,” she has said.

Wilson made the award after determining that the Wilfs systematically cheated Josef Halpern and his sister Ada Reichmann out of revenues from the 764-unit Rachel Gardens apartment complex for more than 20 years. It is one of 225 apartment complexes owned by the Wilfs.

Zygi Wilf and his brother Mark joined local dignitaries at the groundbreaking for the new Vikings stadium that took place last week.

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