Small-time actor Zachary Horwitz has been caught in a big-time Ponzi scheme.
A small-time Los Angeles-based actor was arrested on Tuesday by the FBI for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme in which he lied to investors about the success of his film distribution company.
Zachary Horwitz, sometimes professionally known as Zach Avery, is accused of cheating investors out of $227 million and using most of the funds for himself, including purchasing a $6 million Beverlywood home.
Horwitz has appeared in several low-budget movies such as the horror film The Devil Below.
David McNew/Getty Images
Horwitz allegedly enticed the investors by falsely claiming his company, 1inMM Capital LLC, had film licensing deals with Netflix, HBO, and other platforms. His promotional materials claimed the company offered “safe” investments because “we receive confirmation from each of our outputs indicating their desire to acquire the rights to any title we purchase PRIOR to us releasing funds for the film.”
Horwitz provided investors with fake licensing and distribution agreements with Netflix and HBO which contained forged and fictional signatures, according to the prosecutors. Representatives for Netflix and HBO denied that they have engaged in any business with Horwitz or his company, according to the affidavit.
He also told investors his company distributed 52 films in South America, Africa, and Australia, according to court records obtained by the paper, and gifted his funders bottles of pricey Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch.
The actor owes investors roughly $227 million — defaulting on 160 payments to them since 2019, the report said, according to the FBI.
He is charged with wire fraud, which carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. At his Tuesday arraignment, Horwitz was released on a $1 million bond.