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Maguire pays up to avoid litigation

Sept. 25, 2003 at 1:30 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- "Seabiscuit" star Tobey Maguire has returned nearly $200,000 a bankruptcy trustee said was improperly given to him by his one-time investment adviser.

The 28-year-old actor is the latest celebrity to settle a "fraudulent conveyance" lawsuit brought by a court-appointed trustee overseeing the financial ruins of The Cassandra Group, which was once headed by Dana Giacchetto, a former pal of Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio who was convicted of fraud and spent 28 months in federal prison.

In August 2000, Giacchetto pleaded guilty to defrauding his lesser-known clients of millions and diverting the money to more famous clients like Maguire, Cameron Diaz and Alanis Morissette.

The celebrities apparently unwittingly believed the money represented investment returns, TheSmokingGun.com reported.

In the settlement agreement, filed last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, Maguire claims he forked over $197,500 to "avoid the expense and delay of further litigation."

The actor's disbursement will be divvied up between Giacchetto's numerous creditors.

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