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Tobey Maguire, other celebs sued over poker winnings

June 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
"Spider-Man" star Tobey Maguire and several other celebrities are tangled up in a series of lawsuits over millions of dollars allegedly won during unlicensed poker games in Beverly Hills. Some of the winnings may have come from a Ponzi scheme.

The legal actions claim the clandestine Texas Hold 'em matches were played between 2006 and 2009. Bradley Ruderman, a hedge fund manager, joined in on the matches at posh Beverly Hills hotels.

Ruderman allegedly dipped into accounts from his clients to fund his gambling activities. He also obtained the money in what turned out to be an illegal Ponzi scheme.

Ruderman was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison earlier this year after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud, two counts of investment adviser fraud and willful failure to file taxes.

Now a court trustee is trying to recover the Ponzi victims' money Ruderman lost at the poker table.

Maguire is being sued for $311,000 plus interest.

Other defendants include billionaire Alec Gores, who is being sued for $445,000. Director Nick Cassavettes is being sued for $73,000, but his attorney says he engaged in no wrongdoing and may try to settle the case for a reduced amount or fight it. Another defendant is "Welcome Back Kotter" star and poker afficianado Gabe Kaplan, who is being asked to return $62,000, records show.

The suit, however, alleges that the defendants improperly received funds in clandestine high-stakes games that were operated without any licenses or permits using a professional type poker table and hired dealers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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