FBI agents arrested American actor Zach Avery on Tuesday in Los Angeles for allegedly masterminding a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of hundreds of millions of dollars, according to US authorities.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Avery, whose real name is Zachary Horwitz, told investors that his company 1inMM Capital will buy film distribution rights and licence them to Netflix and HBO, but that he had “no commercial relationship with either company.”
Instead, the 34-year-old ran the business like a Ponzi scheme, using money from new investors to pay off older ones, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
According to the SEC, his scheme earned more than $690 million. The Department of Justice stated that it started in 2015 and that victims have yet to be reimbursed for $227 million.
Horwitz, who was characterised as a “small-time performer” by the Los Angeles Times, struggled to find success as an actor. He appeared in the critically panned film “Last Moment of Clarity,” which was released in 2020.
Avery allegedly used proceeds from the scam to finance a luxurious lifestyle that included trips to Las Vegas, the purchase of a $6 million home, and the hiring of a celebrity interior designer, according to authorities.
The scheme began in 2015, according to authorities, and Horwitz and 1inMM promised victims returns of more than 35 percent.
To prove his legitimacy, “Horwitz provided investors with forged or fictitious signatures on fake licence agreements, as well as fake distribution agreements with Netflix and HBO,” according to the US Attorney’s Office.
Horwitz has been charged with wire fraud, and if convicted, he could face up to 20 years in jail.
More About Zach Avery:
Zach Avery (born December 5, 1986) is an actor from the United States who has appeared in films such as Fury (2014), Curvature (2017), Farming (2018), The White Crow (2018), and Last Moment of Clarity (2020), as well as short films such as Shifter (2014) and The Laughing Man (2016).
The first acting role of Avery(outside of theatre) was as a soldier named “Striker” in the short film Shifter.
He continued to appear in films by the Hallivis brothers, including The Laughing Man in 2016 and Curvature, his first feature film, in 2017.
Avery appeared in big films such as Farming, White Crow, and Hell is Where the Home Is in 2018. Last Moment of Clarity, Shookum Hills, and You’re Not Alone, his forthcoming films, are currently in post-production and will be released in 2019.