You're a hedge fund manager running a Ponzi scheme in Los Angeles. You're pretty into poker and attend bi-weekly games with various actors who, as it unfortunately turns out, aren't half bad at cards. The buy-in's $100,000 but you don't have the cash. What do you do? If you're Brad Ruderman you use some client funds to cover it, as well as the money you lose to Spiderman and Co.
An FBI investigation into Brad Ruderman, the CEO of Ruderman Capital Partners, uncovered how he lost $25 million of investor money in clandestine poker games held on a twice weekly basis in suites at the luxury Beverly Hills hotel, Four Seasons, and the Viper Room on Sunset Boulevard. Tinsel town A-listers Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon also played in the no-limit Texas Hold 'em games which had a buy-in of $100,000, multiple members of the ring told Star. DiCaprio, Affleck and Damon are not being sued. Others who were part of the secret society and are facing hefty lawsuits include billionaire businessman Alex Gores, The Notebook director Nick Cassavetes, Welcome Back, Kotter star Gabe Kaplan, Paris Hilton's infamous sex tape partner, Rick Salomon, record label owner Cody Leibel and Las Vegas nightlife entrepreneur and real-estate developer Andrew Sasson, among others.
The games were "exclusive events, by invitation only, and that there was a regular roster of players consisting of wealthy celebrities, entrepreneurs, attorneys and businessmen," according to the lawsuit filed against Maguire in the United States Bankruptcy Court, in Los Angeles. Ruderman lost $311,300 to Maguire, including one losing hand of $110,000, on July 30, 2007, it's claimed. The Ponzi mastermind used clients' money to "pay for gambling losses at clandestine, high stakes poker games that were operated without any licenses or permits," the suit said.
In their attempt to win back Ruderman's losses, the trustee has claimed Maguire is "not entitled to receive the transfers from the Debtor, which transfers were compromised of improperly-diverted investor funds." In a deposition of the alleged ringleader of the operation, which took in tens of millions of dollars beginning in 2006 through 2009, Maguire is described as a "very, very frequent player," in the games, which ended in 2009. Maguire won as much as $1 million a month over a period of three years, one source told Star... "That means he could have made up to $30 to $40 million from these games," the whistle-blowing card shark predicted.