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Hollywood actor accused in Ponzi scheme of deceiving investors through fake movie deals

A hopeful actor was charged Tuesday in Los Angeles on suspicion of running a massive Ponzi scheme that demanded hundreds of millions of dollars from investors for fake Hollywood movie license agreements, federal prosecutors said.

Zachary Joseph Horwitz, who has appeared in low-budget films under the screen name Zach Avery, was indicted by a federal grand jury for several counts, including securities fraud, wire fraud and identity theft, the Los Angeles Times reported.

It is not immediately known if Horwitz has a lawyer.

From 2014 to 2019, Avery allegedly claimed for investors to secure $ 690 million in loans to his film company, 1inMM Capital, prosecutors said.

More than 200 investors, including three of Horwitz̵

7;s closest colleagues and their family members, lost about $ 230 million, the Times reported.

Prosecutors said Horwitz told investors that their money would be used to buy movie distribution rights, which were then licensed to platforms like HBO and Netflix.

But instead of using the funds to make distribution deals, Horwitz allegedly ran his business as a Ponzi scheme, using the victims’ money to repay former investors and to finance his own lifestyle, including buying a $ 6 million home, he said. prosecutors.

Representatives of Netflix and HBO have denied that their companies are dealing with Horwitz, according to a statement.

Horwitz was arrested on April 6 for an initial fraud and spent more than two weeks in jail before being released on a $ 1 million bond, according to the newspaper.

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