Government officials on Tuesday arrested a Los Angeles film and television actor accused of running a $ 227 million Ponzi scheme promising non-investment film rights.
Zachary Joseph Horwitz, 34, an employee under the name Zach Avery, has been arrested by special FBI agents on a telephone fraud charge, the U.S. Attorney General's Office said. Central District of California statement. The case carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, Horwitz has requested an investment in his company, 1inMM Capital LLC, which he said would use the funds to "buy regional film distribution rights and grant rights to social media platforms such as Netflix and HBO." He is accused of telling investors that the rights were for films that broadcasters had agreed to distribute abroad, especially in Latin America.
Prosecutors allege the program began in 2015.
The actor provided information to investors who claimed that "1inMM Capital has provided a 'safe' investment because" we get a guarantee for each of our releases which reflects their desire to acquire rights to any article that we buy from PRIOR from us for film funding, "in an affidavit.
He also "provided investors with counterfeit licensing agreements, as well as counterfeit distribution agreements via Netflix and HBO, all of which contained fake or counterfeit signatures," prosecutors said.
The money was used to pay former investors and bankroll Horwitz's living conditions, including the purchase of $ 6 million from Beverlywood residence, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney general's office.
Investors began to complain when 1inMM Capital began to fail in notes in 2019, according to a criminal complaint.
Horwitz did not suspend the program, officials said. Instead, he sent illegal letters from Netflix and HBO stating the reasons why the money was not available, and also used fake signatures from HBO and Netflix employees, the affidavit said.
Netflix and HBO have denied that their companies have any business dealings with Horwitz or 1inMM Capital, according to an affidavit.
Horwitz told a U.S. U.S. magistrate he understood the case he was facing during the first video conference in Los Angeles prison, according to the Los Angeles Times. The judge has imposed a $ 1 million bond. His lawyer, Anthony Pacheco, could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning.
Horwitz's next court date is set for May 13.