The Hollywood movie star, Spiderman AKA Tobey Maguire, who was sued earlier this year for his poker winnings, decided to settle a lawsuit naming Bradley Ruderman where Maguire’s poker winnings were at stake. Although Maguire’s names is being used to make a big story in the tabloids, the real “hero” in this legal mess is Ruderman – a con man and a Ponzi scheme operator who is now serving a 10-year sentence in federal prison for two counts of wire fraud, two counts of investment adviser fraud, and willful failure to file taxes.
Back in June, 2011, Ruderman's investors sued Tobey Maguire for $311,000 which he supposedly won from the fraud hedge fund operator and demanded that the Hollywood star return the money. However, Maguire wasn't willing to give up his winnings easily and has only agreed to give back $80,000 or 25% of the money he won from Ruderman.
In his defense Maguire stated that he “strongly disputes that he violated any laws, rules or regulations in regard to participating in the poker games,” however he decided to settle in order to avoid bringing the case to court which would most likely cost much more than $80K.
Howard Ehrenberg, the Ruderman Capital Partners bankruptcy trustee who sued the group of people who won money from Ruderman playing Texas Hold'em said that the total amount of poker settlements was around $1.7 million. At least 22 people were sued on the same basis and 14 of them, including Maguire have agreed to return at least part of their winnings.
The trustee said that all those who settled their cases have agreed to the same terms and that Maguire's settlement was no different from the others'. He also argued that those who collected money from Ruderman in poker games “had no right to keep their winnings from the unlicensed poker games held at upscale hotels and private residences.” However, the defendants claimed that the games were legal and that they did not violate any laws.
“Spiderman” agreed to the settlement last week on Tuesday, November 22, and the document was filed a day later with the bankruptcy court. In his filings Maguire pointed out that apart from winning $311,000, he also lost $168,500 to Ruderman. Therefore the $80,000 settlement in a way restores the status quo between the two.
Still, not all of those who won from Ruderman in poker games have agreed to give up their money. A Hollywood actor and a movie director Nick Cassavetes is one of the eight people who have decided to go to the court and defend their rights to the poker winnings. Cassavetes' attorney stated that “the games were not illegal and the statute of limitations has long passed for pursuing any criminal charges for the games held between 2006 and 2009.”
Some other big names in the list of those who have settled their cases are billionaire Alec Gores and a poker player and commentator Gabe Kaplan. Gores agreed to pay back $50,000 of his $445,500 winnings against Ruderman whereas Kaplan will return $26,900 instead of $63,000.
*Image courtesy of foxnews.com