Recovering embezzled moneys illegally gambled away

Sounds similar to the lawsuits seeking to recover money Bernie Madoff defrauded from investors by taking it from other investors he paid phony profits to.

Don’t think of it as money. Suppose the guy stole a laptop from his company and lost it in a game/gave it away/sold it. It’s still stolen property and the real owner is allowed to get it back, in theory.

In theory.

But the same legal theory does not apply to money. I think (as a non-lawyer) that the people trying to recover this have to prove a bit more, e.g., that the poker players know they were getting stolen or embezzled money in the poker game. If the embezzler takes $1,000 to a casino and loses it there, you aren’t going to get that $1,000 back from the casino, because the casino doesn’t know where you got that money from.

So let’s say this suit goes through and McGuire has to give the money back. In effect, they’d be saying “this game was illegal and never took place”. Does that mean anyone who lost money playing poker there could then come forward saying “gimme back the 10 grand I lost”?

Sounds like fraudulent conveyance to me.

Does anyone else besides me persist in reading the thread title as “embezzled monkeys”?

I was thinking along similar lines. Because money is fungible, you would need a pretty clear path between the stolen money and the gambling. If money is stolen strictly for the purposes of gambling, or to pay off a gambling debt, you might have a case. If the thief is a frequent gambler who sometimes wins and sometimes loses, you have a harder time proving any particular gambling loss should be considered ‘the’ stolen money.
This case seems pretty clear though. Because the ‘loser’ stole 25 million in a ponzi scheme, it would be easy to conclude that every dollar he spent was stolen.

I think having to give the money back is necessary to prevent some sort of laundering. If they let the winner keep the money then it would be trivially easy for an embezzlement scheme to be hatched that launders the money though illegal gambling!

That would be madness.

It’s a law suit not a criminal case. “They” are private lawyers not crime fighters. The poker game was technically illegal but it isn’t being investigated by law enforcement. The FBI investigated him for embezzling $25 million and it turned out he had stolen it to pay his poker debts.

He lost $25 million but they are only suing a few of the winners trying to recoup a portion of the total. The rest walked out the door never to be seen again. The people named in the suit are all high profile celebrities no doubt targeted because they have the means to settle and forget about it just to avoid the scandal.

Yes, I do!

Hey there are more than 2 people in a poker game. Did all of the $300,000 come from the bad guy? Nobody else put down any cash? How do they know that the money the bad guy used in the game was the same money that he supposedly embezzled? Maybe the embezzled money got spent in something else, and the poker money was from the bank.

That’s exactly how I read it. I wish someone would start a thread about embezzling monkeys and how to stop them. Need answer fast!

The embezzling of monkeys, or monkeys who embezzle?

There was a case in Canada IIRC of a lowly accountant who embezzled quite a few hundred thousand over a year or two. He was a high roller in Vegas and the casinos used to fly him down, from the news articles. IIRC the bank or whatever was suing to get their money back, saying the casinos must have done a background check and should have known the money was not legitimately his.

I suspect it comes down to the rule about what a “reasonable man” should have known. If you know this guy is a used car salesman or accountant, and he shows up with $25M - you connect the dots.

And how do you know who won what amount and from whom? Money continually moves around a poker table. Did Ben Affleck win money from this guy or from Toby Maguire? Or did he win this guy’s money from Toby Maguire? How much money was his and how much was Toby’s? This is going to end up in a myriad of unanswerable questions.

This story was made into a great movie, Owning Mahowney.

Had the game occurred in a private home and there was no rake or the like, there would be no case as the game would have been perfectly legal. That it occurred at a business muddies the water. CA state law exempts “Games played with cards in private homes or residences, in which no person makes money for operating the game, except as a player.” As always the devil is in the details but a private poker game is not illegal per se in California

The original story was told in the book Stung by Garry Stephen Ross. The linked excerpt, a salutary lesson for gamblers, was one of the things I long remembered from the book.

Yeah, me too! :slight_smile:

I’ve started a MPSIMS thread regarding the embezzlement and gambling away of monkeys here.