Tobey Maguire Sued for Winnings in Underground Poker Games
Maguire, 35, allegedly took part in the twice-weekly games along with other celebrities and high rollers in exclusive hotels, including The Four Seasons and the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The lawsuit stems from Maguire's connection to Ponzi-schemer Brad Ruderman, the CEO of Ruderman Capital Partners, who allegedly lost $25 million of investor money – and from whom Maguire alone won more than $300,000, according to the suit.
Because the games – no-limit Texas Hold 'em with a $100,000 buy-in – weren't licensed with the state of California, lawyers for the clients who lost money to Ruderman maintain that Maguire's winnings are fair game to recoup and return to scammed investors.
The actor has hired a lawyer to fight the allegations against him. His rep has not commented.
"As part of the scheme, funds invested in [Ruderman] were transferred to persons such as Defendant [Maguire] who received the funds on account of Ruderman's gambling losses and on account of Defendant's gambling winnings," the suit reads.
Maguire is "not entitled to receive the transfers from the Debtor, which transfers were [comprised] of improperly-diverted investor funds."
The alleged mastermind of the operation said in a deposition that Maguire was a frequent player in the games, according to the suit.
Ruderman was convicted on two counts of wire fraud and two counts of investment adviser fraud, and is currently in jail in Texas and due to be released in 2018.
Other celebrities taking part in the games included Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, according to RadarOnline and Star magazine, though they are not being sued.
Participants facing lawsuits for their winnings include The Notebook director Nick Cassavetes and Welcome Back, Kotter star Gabe Kaplan, among others.
So far, authorities have received no criminal complaints regarding the alleged card games, but experts believe the games could trigger inquiries from the Internal Revenue Service.