Zachary J. Horwitz, a small-time actor, was arrested Tuesday in Los Angeles on a federal charge that he ran a massive Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of $227 million by touting fictitious film licensing deals with HBO, Netflix and other platforms.
Horwitz, 34, who has appeared in minor films under the stage name Zach Avery, was accused of fabricating emails from HBO and Netflix executives about nonexistent film distribution agreements in an attempt to stave off demands for payment from investors.
In a sworn statement filed in Los Angeles federal court, FBI agent John Verrastro laid out a brazen scheme by Horwitz to persuade investors to pour huge sums of money into his film distribution company, 1inMM Capital LLC.
Horwitz sent bottles of Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch alongside an annual investors report in 2015 that highlighted a “library” of 52 films his company was supposedly distributing in Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South America, according to Verrastro. It included the 2012 horror movie “The Lords of Salem” and the 1989 action film “Kickboxer” with martial arts action star Jean-Claude Van Damme.
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