Spiderman, Matt Damon, Ben Afleck Could Face Jail Time for High Stakes Poker Scheme

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Jun/22/2011
Spiderman Jail High Stakes Poker

Hollywood is abuzz with news that Spiderman actor Tobey Maguire, Matt Damon, Ben Afleck and Leonardo DiCaprio could be facing up to 6 months prison time for their participation in an alleged high stakes poker ponzi scheme.  TMZ.com first broke the story on Wednesday related to Maguire’s participation.  The other three actors, all of whom actively participate on the celebrity poker circuit, have yet to be tied to the complaint filed by Howard M. Ehrenberg, the trustee for Ruderrman Capital Partners.

Ehrenberg is suing Maquire for his involvement in the illegal underground high stakes poker ring.  The trustee is demanding that Maguire pay back the $311,000 in winnings he earned during the games held between 2006 and 2009.

From Fox News: 

According to the complaint filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, Bradley Ruderman – who managed the fund before being sentenced to a decade in federal prison on an array of fraud charges – used the investor money to pay off his losing debt in the “Texas Hold ‘em” games, which were played by a string of  Hollywood stars at various five-star hotels in Beverly Hills, as well as in private residences.

The suit touches on the laws of California pertaining to home poker games and the legalities associated with such games.

“As the Poker Games, the operators of the Poker Games, the dealers for the Poker Games, the equipment used at the Poker Games and the locations of the Poker Games were unlicensed and improperly conducted pursuant to state and local laws, rules and ordinances, to the extent that a player were to ‘win’ at one of the Poker Games and to the extent that the player was not paid for the winnings, the player had no legally enforceable contractual right to receive payment, and had no right to enforce the winnings in state or federal court."

Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, California-based criminal defense attorney, David E. Wohl. said: “If a bloodthirsty prosecutor wanted to go after these celebs, the law allows he or she to file charges and seek up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for each poker game played.

“The reality is however, that there's a greater chance of Arnold Schwarzenegger being reelected governor than Matt Damon, Ben Affleck or Toby Maguire actually doing jail time for a game of cards.”

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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