Dark Story Behind Actor Zach Avery’s Ponzi Scheme of $227 Million

American actor Zach Avery’s Ponzi scheme, defrauding investors of hundreds of millions of dollars, caused him to be arrested by FBI agents in Los Angeles on Tuesday (April 6).

3 min readApr 7, 2021

34-year-old Zachary Horwitz, an actor who performs under the stage name Zach Avery, was arrested in charge of fabricating emails from HBO and Netflix officials about fake film distribution deals in order to stave off requests for payments to investors, a criminal complaint filed Monday in United States District Court announced.

While the actor and company reportedly have no connection to these entertainment platforms, Federal authorities state $227 million that was put in by victims is still yet to be returned to them.

Zach Avery claimed he used money from the Ponzi scheme to fund a lavish lifestyle, which officials declared included purchasing a house worth $6 million, $100,000 on trips to Las Vegas, and a $1.8 million American Express bill.

What Happened in Zach Avery’s Ponzi Scheme Case?

Zach Avery, well known for playing in films including The Devil Below, You’re Not Alone, and Last Moment of Clarity, had assured investors they were buying film rights that would be resold to Netflix and HBO but 1inMM actually had no business relationship with either company, the SEC complaint says.

He falsely claimed to investors that he had a successful track record of selling film rights and that they were providing funds to obtain the rights to specific films.

However, authorities say Horwitz showed promotional materials that alleged 1inMM Capital offered ‘safe’ investments because ‘we receive confirmation from each of our outputs indicating their desire to acquire the rights to any title we purchase PRIOR to us releasing funds for the film’.

Between these materials was a yearly report for 1inMM Capital that detailed partnerships with HBO, Netflix, and Sony; The report additionally included a ‘library snapshot’ of films his company had also distributed via licensing.’

The complaint against Horwitz indicated that the actor had shown investors fabricated deals and emails regarding the purported agreements with HBO and Netflix.

When Zach Avery’s Ponzi Scheme Started?

Reports announced that the scheme had kicked off in 2015, and that Horwitz and 1inMM promised victims repaid of above 35%.

To establish his legitimacy, “Horwitz provided investors with fake license agreements, as well as fake distribution agreements with Netflix and HBO, all of which contained forged or fictional signatures.”

Horwitz has been charged with wire fraud, and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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