An actor from Los Angeles who has appeared in low-budget horror and sci-fi films is expected to plead guilty on Monday to directing a $ 650 million Ponzi scheme.
Zachary Joseph Horwitz, who used Zach Avery’s name in film credits, allegedly deceived investors who thought their money would fund distribution rights to films that would air on HBO and Netflix, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Horwitz, who lives in the Beverlywood area, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of securities fraud, carrying a sentence of up to 20 years behind bars, according to court documents.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission also sued Horwitz and his company, 1inMM Capital LLC, in civil court for the alleged scam, which involved the sale of film license rights, primarily in Latin American markets. .
Horwitz, 34, operated 1inMM Capital as a Ponzi scheme, using victims’ money to pay off previous investors and finance an “opulent” lifestyle, including the purchase of a $ 6 million Beverlywood house. dollars, according to federal prosecutors.
The scheme is said to have started in October 2014, when investment firms began to enter into a series of six- or 12-month promissory notes with 1inMM Capital based on Horwitz’s statements.
The funds provided under each ticket were supposed to provide money to 1inMM Capital to acquire the rights to a specific film, according to documents filed with federal court in Los Angeles.
Prosecutors allege that to persuade investors that it was legitimate, Horwitz provided bogus licensing deals, as well as bogus distribution deals with Netflix and HBO, all of which allegedly contained forged or fictitious signatures.
Despite Horwitz’s claim of “strong relationships” with online platforms, representatives for Netflix and HBO deny their companies engaged in business with Horwitz or 1inMM Capital, prosecutors said.
Using his screen name Zach Avery, Horwitz played a small role in “The White Crow”, a 2018 biographical drama written by David Hare and directed by Ralph Fiennes which chronicles the life and career of ballet star Rudolf Nureyev. . Avery has also appeared in the little-known films “Last Moment of Clarity” and “Farming,” according to IMDB.com.