Wilfs plan to appeal $84.5M order in fraud case

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The Wilf family is planning to appeal a New Jersey Superior Court order to pay $84.5 million to former partners defrauded in a decades-old real estate venture, the Pioneer Press reports.

The order was handed down by Judge Deanne Wilson Monday. It calls for Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, his brother -- team president Mark Wilf -- and their cousin, Leonard, to pay about $52 million in compensatory damages, interest and punitive damages to one plaintiff; and about $33 million in combined damages to another.

"Certainly we disagree with the judge's ruling and it's something we plan to appeal," Mark Wilf told reporters. He declined further comment because of the ongoing litigation.

Anticipating the action after the ruling on Monday, an associate with the film representing the Wilfs said none of the damages would be paid out out during the appeal, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported.

The civil suit dates back to 1992, when the Wilfs were sued by partners in a huge apartment complex in Montville, N.J., who claimed they were cheated out of their share of profits.

In her ruling on the case in August, Wilson noted how Zygi Wilf himself had testified that he had reneged on the deal, and called his motives “evil.”

Following the August ruling, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority questioned the Wilfs’ ability to finance their $477 million portion of the new $975 million Vikings stadium.

After a financial review, the MSFA said the state determined that the Wilfs had the financial capability to hold up their end of the deal.

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