Actor Zach Avery Arrested For Allegedly Running Hollywood Ponzi Scheme
Actor Zachary J. Horwitz, aka Zach Avery, was arrested on Tuesday 6th April in Los Angeles in connection with a massive Hollywood Ponzi scheme. Federal authorities allege defrauded investors lost more than $227 million. FBI reveals Zach Avery fabricated licensing deals with Netflix, HBO, as well as other platforms. This was in order to secure funding for his film distribution company, 1inMM Capital LLC.
In a sworn affidavit filed in Los Angeles federal court, FBI agent John Verrastro said Avery then used the funds for “personal benefit” and to make payments to previous investors “in the style of a classic Ponzi scheme.”
“Avery founded the Los Angeles-based 1inMM Capital LLC in 2013, claiming to distribute English films to the Latin American market through partnerships with HBO and Netflix,” the FBI said.
“In 2015, he allegedly sent investors bottles of Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch, along with an annual report that said the company had acquired and successfully distributed 49 films through the 1inMM Capital banner without incurring a single loss in the process.”
He also claimed to have expanded his partnership with Netflix and HBO to distribute films to Australia and New Zealand. Investors were promised a return of up to 40 percent within a year. As payments were due, Avery fabricated email correspondence with Netflix and HBO executives to justify delays.
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“In reality, neither Horwitz [Avery] nor 1inMM Capital ever engaged in email correspondence with Netflix or HBO, nor did Horwitz [Avery] or 1inMM Capital ever have any business relationship with Netflix or HBO at all,” Verrastro wrote.
Since December 2019, he has defaulted on more than 160 payments and owes investors $227 million in principal alone, the affidavit states. Presently Avery is facing wire fraud charges. He appeared in court on Tuesday via teleconference.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Schwab reportedly urged the judge to keep Avery detained until trial. Schwab believes Avery is a flight risk, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Despite concerns, a judge set Avery’s bond at $1 million, but he will remain in custody until the bond is approved. An arraignment holds on 13th May to discuss the matter, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Avery’s acting credits include “Last Moment of Clarity“, “The White Crow“, and “Farming“. He also was an extra on Brad Pitt’s “Fury“.
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