by Joss Wood, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
Bradley Ruderman defrauded his clients out of $44.3 million in a financial Ponzi scheme. He then lost over $1.5 million of that money playing in high stakes home games in Beverly Hills. A lawsuit was filed by the victims of that Ponzi scheme, in an attempt to recover the funds that Ruderman had lost at the tables. Where did they turn for the money? Several high-profile winners of the games.
Players who won money from Ruderman and were mentioned in the lawsuit include actor Tobey Maguire, famous for his role as Spiderman, actor/filmmaker Nick Cassavetes, and actor/host Gabe Kaplan. Cassavetes has appeared on GSN’s High Stakes Poker, a show hosted by Kaplan until its most recent season. Gabe was the first to settle his suit out-of-court, agreeing to repay $27,000 of the $62,000 he allegedly owed.
This week, Tobey Maguire decided to follow Kaplan's lead, and agreed to pay $80,000 to settle his own case. All out-of-court settlements are provisional, so a judge must rule to decide if they are acceptable. The argument against the winners is that the home games were illegal, and therefore the winners had no legal right to the money Ruderman lost. The lawyers for the plaintiffs stated that:
"The player had no legally enforceable contractual right to receive payment."
Although these cases have been settled, the settlements are by no means an admission of guilt. It is quite likely that both Kaplan and Maguire simply didn't want to find themselves with the public relations nightmare of fighting a group of Ponzi scheme victims in court.
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