The quartet are among the high-powered card sharks caught up in a legal battle between their former poker playing pal Bradley Ruderman and the people the jailed hedge fund manager conned out of millions.
As court proceedings loomed, it looked as if the details of the illegal high-stakes Hollywood poker games would be revealed, but the 22 people who sued to recoup Ruderman's gambling cash have all settled their cases for a total of more than $1.75 million (£1 million), according to Celebuzz.com.
Howard Ehrenberg, the bankruptcy trustee who sued Maguire and others in a bid to recoup as much as $5.2 million (£3.25 million) they won from Ruderman at the underground poker games, tells the website, "All of the poker defendant cases are settled.
"The settlement of every poker related case without having had to incur the cost of taking any of them to trial means that the fund available for the victims has been maximised."
Ruderman was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2010 for bilking investors out of millions. His victims claimed he used their cash to live the high life in Malibu, California and pay his way in to high-stakes Beverly Hills Texas Hold 'Em poker games between 2006 and 2009.
Ruderman wrote cheques and wire transfers to Maguire, totalling $311,200 (£194,500) to cover poker losses, according to one of the lawsuits filed and later settled. The actor was one of the first to settle, agreeing to hand over $80,000 (£50,000).
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Looks like Spider-Man got caught in a web - a gambling one. Tobey Maguire, along with over a dozen other high profile Hollywood celebrities are being sued in connection with a mega-millions illegal gambling ring that ran high-stakes underground poker games. Maguire allegedly won more than $300,000 from a Beverly Hills hedge fund manager who embezzled investor funds and orchestrated a Ponzi scheme as way to pay off his debts.
Brad Ruderman, the CEO of Ruderman Capital Partners lost $25 million of investor money in poker games held at the Beverly Hills hotel, Four Seasons, and the Viper Room on Sunset Boulevard. Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were said to have played in the no-limit Texas Hold 'em games. Others members who are facing hefty lawsuits include billionaire businessman Alex Gores, The Notebook director Nick Cassavetes, Welcome Back, Kotter star Gabe Kaplan, Paris Hilton's sex tape partner, Rick Salomon, record label owner Cody Leibel and Las Vegas nightlife entrepreneur and real-estate developer Andrew Sasson.
After being convicted on two counts of wire fraud and two counts of investment adviser fraud, Ruderman is set to serve time in a Texas jail until 2018. The people Ruderman embezzeled from are filing civil suits against those who won big in the illegal poker games, hoping to get back some of their money (good luck). But put your minds at ease ladies, DiCaprio, Affleck and Damon are not being sued. It would be illegal to put such gorgeous men behind bars anyways.
According to the lawsuit filed against Maguire in the United States Bankruptcy Court, these were "exclusive events, by invitation only, and that there was a regular roster of players consisting of wealthy celebrities, entrepreneurs, attorneys and businessmen." A source commented that Maguire won as much as $1 million a month over a period of three years. The trustee claims though that Maguire is "not entitled to receive the transfers from the Debtor, which transfers were compromised of improperly-diverted investor funds." California law states that it's illegal to play for money at underground poker clubs, but supposedly none of the participants are under criminal investigation. Maguire has hired an attorney to defend the allegations against him and argue that the games were not illegal. Yes, because everything about this seems on the up and up Tobey.
Does anyone else find it completely disturbing that our economy is still in the toilet yet celebs are gambling with all this money like it's nothing? There are much better ways to be spending your money boys: charities, the educational system, cancer research centers, online entertainment sites. Just saying.
Source: Radar Online
I will remember Friday, May 13th 2011 for the rest of my life as the day that a rich girl stole the rights to one of Hollywood's most prized franchises from a major motion picture studio. Megan Ellison, daughter of Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison and brother of David Ellison (who shares her interest in showbiz and collaborated with her on True Grit), has emerged victorious in the battle for the film rights to The Terminator franchise, reports Deadline.
The news is a fourth-quarter shocker, as Lionsgate nearly sealed the deal before an eleventh-hour bid from Ellison became an offer that hedge-fund Pacificor (the company that took the rights to the series from Halcyon in 2010 after the less-than-stellar returns on 2009's Terminator Salvation) couldn't refuse. Details are still coming in, but the source claims that the final sale price could've hit $20 million, which is a bit less than the $29.5 million that Pacificor paid.
Business aside, this is a major victory for fans of the franchise. Though her pockets run DEEP, Ellison has invested mainly in prestige pictures that never guarantee a payback in the long run, including the Megan Fox-starrer Passion Play which went straight to DVD. The one exception thus far is Grit, which pulled in massive box office on a $38 million budget. Her upcoming slate represents the high standard of quality she demands of projects with her name attached, including John Hillcoat's The Wettest County in the World, Andrew Dominik's Cogan's Trade and Paul Thomas Anderson's untitled religious drama. So the fact that she's just invested in The Terminator means that the the series could finally return to the level of intellect and general awesomeness that the original film and its first sequel boasted.
The rights package was purchased with Justin Lin (Fast Five) and Arnold Schwarzenegger attached, and Ellison could very likely follow the rumored plan to finally bring the franchise to an agreeable close with two back-to-back films that would lead to a natural conclusion to the story of man vs. machine. No writer has been hired yet, and that upcoming decision will probably be a major factor in determining what we can expect from The Terminator in the coming years.