On the surface, Zachary Horwitz, 34, appeared to be the stereotypical wannabe actress trying to build her career in Hollywood by taking on a number of roles of little significance.
But while playing small parts in predominantly low-budget films, Horwitz also ran a $ 690 million Ponzi scheme. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), by using the ill-gotten money to buy a mansion in Los Angeles of 5.7 million. Dollars and finance a lavish lifestyle.
Horwitz, who traded under the name Zach Avery, promised financial backers a 35% return on their investment by claiming that his distribution company, 1
But those relationships never existed, and investors were instead signed off on $ 227 million. Only the last three years, according to the FBI.
Horwitz allegedly bought his scattered home, which has a built-in cinema, a gym and a wine cellar, with the misused money.
Legal documents claim that he also spent more than $ 137,000 on private jets and paid $ 700,000 to a “celebrity interior designer”.
The actor’s apparent financial success was not matched by his struggling film career. Like Zach Avery, Horwitz had a small, uncredited role in Brad Pitt’s World War II drama Fury, but most of his acting was in far less heralded films.
His most recent role came in the thriller Last Moment of Clarity, a film that, according to the Guardian report, has a “lazily written” script, filled with “stupid coincidences.”
“Brothers Colin and James Krisel and / or actor Zach Avery must be either very well funded or ridiculously convincing because they have managed to put together a supportive cast and a budget for this debut thriller that far exceeds what the script seems to justify,” Guardian reviewer Leslie Felperin wrote.
Horwitz was arrested Tuesday and charged with fraud, a crime that carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
“We claim that Horwitz promised extremely high returns and made them appear plausible by invoking the names of two well-known entertainment companies and producing documents,” said Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office, in a statement. announced the indictment.
Layne said the SEC had frozen Horwitz’s assets to “ensure investors what is left of the money Horwitz has raised”.
The SEC claims that Horwitz showed investors “fabricated deals” that showed that 1inMM Capital had agreed distribution deals with Netflix and HBO and promised huge returns. Instead, Horwitz paid “for many years,” “presumed returns on previous investments using funds from new investments,” according to the SEC.
Between 2014 and 2019, Horwitz raised more than $ 690 million, the SEC said. Since the end of 2018, private investment firms paid $ 227 million. To 1inMM Capital, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California. Horwitz allegedly defaulted on all payments.
Horwitz’s lawyer, Anthony Pacheco, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.