Actor Indicted In $227 Million Ponzi Scheme For Phony Film Licensing Deals

An aspiring actor was indicted in connection to a massive Ponzi scheme that solicited hundreds of millions of dollars involving phony film rights.

Zachary Joseph Horwitz, who appeared in low-budget films under the name "Zach Avery," was charged by a federal grand jury with multiple counts including securities fraud, wire fraud and identity theft in relation to a scheme that involved more than 200 investors losing about $230 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Federal prosecutors told the Los Angeles Times Horowitz lied to investors to secure $690 million in loans to his film company, 1inMM Capital, between 2014 and 2019, which eventually led to the more than 200 investors, including three of his closest college friends and their family members, losing about $230 million.

Prosecutors said Horwitz told investors the money would be used to purchase film distribution rights that would later be licensed to platforms such as HBO and Netflix for streaming services, but instead, the funds allegedly operated his Ponzi scheme, using the victims' investments to repay earlier investors and fund his own personal finances, which included buying a $6 million home.

Representatives for Netflix and HBO confirmed that they never engaged in any business discussions with Horwitz, according to an affidavit obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

Horwitz was arrested on April 6 for an initial fraud charge and remained jailed for two weeks before posting a $1 million bond.

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