Hollywood is abuzz today with news that some of its biggest male stars have been involved in poker games with very, very "high-stakes" -- think "millions."
According to an article the web site, Radaronline (by Dylan Howard, Senior Executive Editor, Star magazine), "Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire is among more than a dozen high-profile Hollywood people being sued in connection with a mega-millions illegal gambling that ran high-stakes underground poker games, Star magazine is reporting exclusively. Maguire, 35, won more than $300,000 from a Beverly Hills hedge fund manager who embezzled investor funds and orchestrated a Ponzi scheme in a desperate bid to pay off his monster debt to the star and others, it's alleged."
Tobey Maguire - Mr. Chips...
Howard also reports that "an FBI investigation into Brad Ruderman, the CEO of Ruderman Capital Partners, uncovered how he lost $25 million of investor 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."
(The legal filing can be viewed here...)
High-stakes poker games aren't unusual in Hollywood or anywhere else there's a lot of money lying around. The history of Tinsel Town is replete with stories of movie stars holding regular card games to discuss business, women and money. Frankly, it's their money and they're really not hurting anyone, right? So let them have their fun.
But what's interesting about this group that's throwing the big bills around is that every name listed is an Obama-supporting liberal Democrat.
So, who cares?
Let's not forget that Damon, Maguire, Affleck and DiCaprio were all big, big Obama backers. They contributed time, money and their faces to his election and political efforts.
So, who cares?
Weren't the Dems - the president included - supposed to represent "the Little Guy?" Last I heard, the Little Guy ain't throwing around millions in poker games. Again, I don't begrudge people using their money as they see fit, but these are all guys who regularly get up on their soapboxes to berate the rest of us schmucks for wanting to hold on to more of our own money... and they harangue us for cash to support all sorts of special interests.
Here's an idea, boys: how about instead of asking for more of our money to help your causes, you take some of that disposable income (i.e.: stakes and winnings) and put it toward the things that are near-and-dear to you?
Matt Damon (in "Rounders")...
Furthermore, let's not forget that not long ago, Damon and some of his other Hollywood chums were on the bandwagon against tax cuts. My question to the Dem/liberal guys in this underground card game is this: have you been paying taxes on your winnings? If you were playing for a couple bucks here and there, what would anyone say? But let's face it, the money flowing in and out of your little casino there is way, way, way more than the average annual salary of those "average" people you say you're standing up for with your politics, policies and pronouncements. If you're not paying taxes on these winnings, why not?
If you "talk the talk," then it's time to "walk the walk." Let's see your record of winnings and your income tax filings.
C'mon superstars -- do it for the Little Guy...
Late add: From the website, Dealbreaker.com, more on the poker-lawsuit story...
- 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.