Actor Zach Avery has been arrested in connection with a massive Hollywood Ponzi scheme. According to Los Angeles Times, Avery, whose real name is Zachary J Horwitz, was taken into custody on Tuesday with the federal investigators alleging that he defrauded investors out of more than USD 227 million.
Horwitz has appeared in minor roles in movies such as “Fury”, “Curvature”, “Farming” and “The White Crow”. He is accused of fabricating licensing deals with Netflix, HBO, as well as other platforms, in order to secure funding for his film distribution company, 1inMM Capital LLC, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In a criminal complaint filed Monday in United States District Court, FBI agent John Verrastro alleged that Horwitz cheated investors of significant sums by persuading them to invest in 1inMM Capital. According to Verrastro, Horwitz allegedly sent investors bottles of Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch with the company’s 2015 annual report that highlighted a “library” of 52 films that his company was supposedly distributing in Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South America.
He lured investors with the promise of a return of up to 40 percent within a year, Verrastro said. Horwitz used some of the money from the investors to buy a six-bedroom home in LA’s swanky Beverlywood neighbourhood for USD 6.5 million three years ago.
When the payments were due, Avery fabricated email correspondence with Netflix and HBO executives to justify delays. FBI agents arrested Horwitz on a wire fraud charge Tuesday morning at his home in Beverlywood.
They also searched the home for evidence of securities and mail fraud, money laundering and other crimes, according to the FBI affidavit. According to the Times, Horwitz was released earlier today on a USD 1 million secured bond.