Tobey Maguire, the Spider-Man star, has agreed to settle a case regarding poker funds won from Bradley Ruderman, who is convicted of organizing a Ponzi scheme. He has agreed to settle a case filed on over $311,000 he had won while playing high stakes Hold’em games against top businessmen, celebrities, and others, by paying a sum of $80,000.
If a judge approves Maguire’s move next month, a bankruptcy trustee will receive these funds from Maguire. The trustee has been trying to recover funds swindled from investors by the Ponzi scheme operator, who then used these funds to live a luxurious life. The funds so retrieved will be used to refund all the victims of the scheme. Needless to say, Maguire and the other players who participate in the high stakes games were totally unaware that they were conducted by a con man.
According to court records, of the 22 players sued in this case by bankruptcy trustee Howard Ehrenberge, 14 have agreed for a settlement. Ehrenberge is confident that the poker settlements will come up to over $1.7 million. The other players who have agreed to settle their cases will also pay somewhere around the sum paid by Maguire.
According to Maguire’s settlement, he “strongly disputes that he violated any laws, rules, or regulations in regard to participating in the poker games,” but has agreed for a settlement to avoid fighting an expensive case. The settlement was signed on Nov 22 and filed the following day in a bankruptcy court dealing with this case.
The bankruptcy trustee alleged that the celebrities had no right to keep poker funds won playing illegal poker games held at private homes and upscale hotels. The players, including Maguire, have rubbished these allegations and stated that there was nothing illegal about the poker games. Maguire also stated that Ruderman had also won $168,500 from him.
Among the others sued are Nick Cassavetes, the actor director, whose legal representative claims that the games were far from illegal. In the meanwhile, Ehrenberg is confident that the rest of the cases will be settled before trial.
Billionaire Alec Gores and poker enthusiast Gabe Kaplan have also agreed for a settlement. Gores and his brother will pay $49,908 to settle a lawsuit worth $445,500. Kaplan will pay $26,900 after being sued over total poker winnings of $63,000.
The celebrities were sued late in March by Ehrenberg on behalf of the victims of Ruderman’s Ponzi scheme.