Actor Zachary Horwitz pleads guilty in $650M Ponzi scheme

Actor Zachary Horwitz pleads guilty in $650M Ponzi scheme

Small-time actor Zachary Horwitz has agreed to plead guilty to operating a $650 million Hollywood Ponzi scheme by falsely telling investors he had lucrative licensing and distribution deals with Netflix and HBO, according to reports.

As part of the deal struck with the US Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, Horwitz, 34, will cop to one count of securities fraud at a hearing scheduled for Oct. 4, the Los Angeles Times reported. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

The actor, who has credits as Zach Avery in horror and science fiction flicks, admitted in court papers that he duped more than 250 investors — including three of his college friends and their relatives to fuel his opulent lifestyle, the newspaper said.

While Horwitz repaid a lot of the money in order to lure victims into investing more, he failed to return $231 million, according to court papers cited by the LA Times.

The “White Crow” actor used the ill-gotten funds to buy a $5.7 million home in Los Angeles — outfitted with a pool, gym, screening room and 1,000-bottle wine cellar, according to the indictment.

Zach Avery, a small time actor was indicted on May 5, 2021 for a ponzi scheme after failing to repay $231M to investors.
Zach Avery, a small time actor was indicted on May 5, 2021 for a Ponzi scheme after failing to repay $231M to investors.

During the seven-year scheme that started in 2014, Horwitz also blew the stolen cash on luxury cars, chartered flights, and funding low-budget films he appeared in — including “Last Moment of Clarity” and “Gateway.”

Prosecutors indicated in court filings that they will request a hefty prison term, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Horwitz was indicted in May on five counts of securities fraud, six counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft — all charges that will be dismissed as part of the agreement.

In court papers, Horwitz admitted that he falsely told investors his film company 1inMM Capital, LLC, was buying foreign distribution rights to movies then licensing them to Netflix and HBO. Investors would loan his company $35,000 to $1.5 million per film deal and he guaranteed a return of up to 40 percent, according to Newsweek.

But the contracts and correspondence related to the purported deals were all forged. The scheme unraveled when Horwitz began defaulting on the loans in early 2019.

Newsweek reported that his wife, Mallory Horwitz, has since filed for divorce, claiming in court papers that she didn’t know her husband was a conman who had been “deceiving and manipulating me and everyone around him, and he is not the person that I believed he was.”

He’s currently free on a $1 million bond. His attorney, Anthony Pacheco, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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