Actor Zach Avery Arrested for Allegedly Running $227 Million Movie Ponzi Scheme

Actor Zach Avery has been arrested for allegedly running a years-long Ponzi scheme under the guise of seeking investment to acquire licensing rights for film distribution.

By Samantha Schnurr Apr 07, 2021 8:00 PMTags
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Zachary Horwitz, known in Hollywood as actor Zach Avery, has been arrested for allegedly running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme disguised as an investment to acquire licensing rights to films for distribution abroad. 

Horwitz, 34, was arrested by special agents with the FBI on Tuesday, April 6 and charged with wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California confirmed in a press release. He has been accused of seeking investment for his company, 1inMM Capital LLC, under the guise of purchasing foreign regional distribution rights to films, which he would subsequently license to platforms like Netflix and HBO, the press release explained, citing an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint.

Instead, Horwitz has allegedly defaulted on $227 million worth of promissory notes transferred by private investment firms to his 1inMM Capital since late 2018, according to the press release, citing the affidavit. He has also been accused of allegedly using some of the money to purchase his $6 million home. 

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He allegedly started the scheme in 2015 and provided investors with fake license agreements and fake distribution agreements with Netflix and HBO, platforms that have denied being involved in any business with Horwitz or his company, the release noted, citing the affidavit. 

In 2019, Horwitz allegedly started defaulting on promissory notes entered into with investment firms, spurring complaints. In return, the actor allegedly provided investors fake correspondence with Netflix and HBO as an excuse, according to the release, per the affidavit. 

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Horwitz's bond was set at $1 million on Tuesday, though it's unclear if he has been released from custody. He is scheduled to be arraigned on May 13. If convicted of wire fraud, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The actor most recently appeared in the horror thriller, The Devil Below, and was also cast in the upcoming crime drama, Gateway, co-starring Olivia Munn. In 2014, Horwitz appeared as an extra in Brad Pitt's Fury. E! News has reached out to his rep for comment and has not heard back.