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Actor arrested in alleged $227M Ponzi scheme, faces federal charges

Film-Diversity Study
Posted at 11:20 AM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 17:08:57-04

An actor was arrested this week and is facing federal accusations of running a massive Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of $227 million, according to multiple reports.

The lawsuit alleges Zachary Horwitz, who has appeared in minor films and television shows under the name Zach Avery, solicited investments for his company, 1inMM Capital LLC, so that it could, Horwitz claimed, “purchase regional distribution rights to films and then license the rights to online platforms such as Netflix and HBO.”

The criminal complaint says Horwitz told investors the rights his company wanted to purchase were for films the streaming companies had agreed to distribute abroad.

Prosecutors say the scheme started in 2015.

Horwitz allegedly provided fake license agreements and fake distribution agreements naming Netflix and HBO, according to the Los Angeles Times, telling investors he had “strategic partnerships” with the media companies.

Investors reportedly started to complain in 2019 when 1inMM Capital defaulted on notes. Investigators say in the criminal complaint Horwitz then sent investors fake correspondence from Netflix and HBO that explained why the money was not available.

Netflix and HBO told investigators they deny engaging in business with Horwitz.

Horwitz appeared in court Tuesday to face the charges, and will return to court in mid-May.