Zachary Horwitz was arrested by federal authorities on Tuesday after an alleged Ponzi scheme stole over $227 million from unknowing investors. Horwitz pretended to have licensing deals with HBO and Netflix, despite the companies insisting that there were never any deals made.
Zachary Horwitz, an actor who goes by the name of Zach Avery, has been seen in several small film and television roles. Most notably, Horwitz appeared in Last Moment of Clarity, The White Crow, and Farming, but his acting career never became huge. Instead, the most notable information on Horwitz’s IMDB is that he was arrested on Tuesday for a Ponzi scheme claiming fake deals with HBO and Netflix, among other big streaming sites.
The 34-year-old actor is being held in a Los Angeles jail, after creating a film licensing company by the name 1inMM Capital LLC, which sought big investments to purchase film rights and license them to huge streaming services for use overseas.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Ponzi scheme began in 2015, when Zachary Horwitz and his company, 1inMM Capital LLC sent investors bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch. Attached to the bottle was the company’s annual report, highlighting its library of over 52 films, supposedly distributing in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. Of course, the library never existed, and investors sought profits from fake deals purported by Horwitz.
To little fault of the investor, the Ponzi scheme elicited over $227 million in investment capital, which Horwitz used to pay off other investors, as well as purchase his $6.5 million Beverlywood home.
To convince investors, Horwitz cited “strategic partnerships” and promised returns as high as 40 percent within a year. Instead of enormous gains for investors, Horwitz’s company defaulted on more than 160 payments. The largest investor, JJMT Capital, LLC, of Chicago invested more than $160 million.
The actual charges were on a wire fraud. The bond was set at $1 million. The arrest came after a series of complaints from investors, and the FBI has begun its investigation of Horwitz and his Ponzi scheme.
The FBI had a search warrant which gave them access to Horwitz’s phones and tablets that require face recognition or thumbprint. The agents were looking for evidence of securities and mail fraud, money laundering, and other possible crimes.
When asked by a Los Angeles judge, Zachary Horwitz admitted that he understood the charges against him.
The actor reportedly sent fake emails from HBO and Netflix executives, explaining the delay in funds but assured the deal was still active. According to Yahoo! News, Horwitz forged signatures from HBO and Netflix employees.
While investors lost millions of dollars, Horwitz was reportedly enjoying his enormous Los Angeles home, swimming in his illegally purchased pool.