Zachary Horwitz’s name might sound familiar to you by now, and it is probably not because of his roles starring in low-budget movies. No, this Hollywood actor is now making a name for himself for all the wrong reasons…
From Road to Infamy
Known professionally by the name of Zach Avery, the 34-year-old actor has been accused a couple of days ago of defrauding investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars by falsely claiming to buy movie rights and resell them to Netflix and HBO.
Indeed, the Last Moment Of Clarity actor was actually allegedly running a $690 million Ponzi scheme. This information was first released by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Apparently, the actor was using the not-so-honestly earned money to buy a $5.7m Los Angeles mansion, as well as to fund an extravagant and lavish lifestyle.
The actor first started attracting investors through his company, 1inMM Productions, in 2014. He did so by making investors send money before his production company would purchase the rights to some films. Afterward, 1inMM would sell those rights to Netflix and HBO for a profit.
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A criminal complaint was filed in the Central District of California’s U.S. District Court, in which it was revealed that Horwitz “promised returns in excess of 35% on 1inMM’s Promissory Notes,” but that in reality, “1inMM and Horwitz had no relationship with either HBO or Netflix and never licensed any movie rights to either company.
Moreover, the actor “misappropriated investor funds to pay putative returns on earlier investments” and in 2018, “Horwitz misappropriated investor funds to purchase his $5.7 million personal home.”
Even more so, the now infamous actor spent another $700,000 to pay for a celebrity interior designer, and also $165,000 on high-end cars, $137,000 on private jet flights, and $54,000 on a luxury watch subscription service, all in the same year.
Too Good To Be True
Suspicion started to raise, as his apparent financial success did not match his long-struggling acting career. Moreover, in order to explain why his investors weren’t seeing returns on many of their investments, Horwitz would allegedly simply say that Netflix and HBO had delayed licensing deals.
Horwitz thought he had figured this whole scam out by allegedly forging email exchanges with industry executives, as well as producing phony paperwork to back up his claims. That was until the end of 2019 when he was leaving investors with over $234 million in unreturned capital, according to the complaint.
Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles regional office, said in a statement announcing the charges said:
“We allege that Horwitz promised extremely high returns and made them seem plausible by invoking the names of two well-known entertainment companies and fabricating documents.”
Mr. Layne also explained that the actor had raised more than $690m between 2014 and 2019 and that since late 2018, private investment firms paid $227m to 1inMM Capital. Consequently, Zach allegedly defaulted on all payments.
Horwitz was arrested on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at his Beverlywood mansion, and was charged with wire fraud, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. According to the Los Angeles Times, he was later released on a $1 million bond.
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Source: Oxygen, The Guardian
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