Hollywood actor Zachary J. Horwitz, popularly called Zach Avery, has made a career as a small-budget film actor as well as an alleged big-time scammer.
While the actor has secured some roles in a number of films, it is highly unlikely that his acting career can fund his lavish lifestyle. Instead, he was getting more money from other avenues. These were not small backdoor dealings, instead, Zach Avery was involved in a Ponzi Scheme of grand proportions.
Zach Avery’s HBO and Netflix Ponzi Scheme
First, to convince unsuspecting investors that what he was doing was legit, the actor started a company called 1inMM (one in a million) Capital LLC in 2013. According to the company about page:
“Zach founded 1inMM Productions & 1inMM Capital in 2013 with a focus on acquiring and distributing English language feature films to the Latin American market.”
The company was already running before the actor got his first role as an uncredited member of the cast of David Ayer’s “Fury” in 2014. Zach Avery played an SS Medic in the star-studded American war film that featured Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs and Scott Eastwood.
Here is how Zach Avery HBO and Netflix Ponzi Scheme worked according to an SEC press release.
Through his company, Horwitz allegedly told investors that they were buying film rights, purportedly to resell them to Netflix and HBO. However, the authorities confirmed that 1inMM had no business relationship with either company.
To further convince potential investors, he falsely claimed to have a track record of successfully selling movie rights to Netflix and HBO backed by forged agreements and emails regarding the purported deals with HBO and Netflix.
Then, the company promised clients that they will get up to 35% returns on their deals. To stay above suspicion, 1inMM has been paying early investors from the funds that new investors pay.
Within the past five years alone, the SEC says that the Ponzi Scheme has raised more than $690 million. Out of which $227 million is yet to be repaid.
SEC freezes assets
In a bid to exact justice for victims, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Tuesday, 6 April 2021, that it has obtained court papers to freeze assets belonging to Zachary J. Horwitz and his company, 1inMM Capital, LLC.
The authority also issued a complaint against the Hollywood star alleging the misappropriation of funds. In a statement, Michele Wein Layne, Director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office said:
“We allege that Horwitz promised extremely high returns and made them seem plausible by invoking the names of two well-known entertainment companies and fabricating documents. We obtained an asset freeze on an emergency basis to secure for the benefit of investors what remains of the money raised by Horwitz.”
The FBI arrested the actor on Tuesday and he will first appear in court on 19 April 2021 to determine if his assets should remain frozen throughout the case duration.
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You may be wondering where the misappropriated funds went. Well, Horwitz recently purchased a $5.7 million dollar home in Los Angeles and paid a celebrity interior designer to touch it up for him. Additionally, he has been taking trips to Las Vegas amounting to $100,000 and we may never know what happened there because; what happens in Vegas …
Other facts about Zach Avery
Avery first starred as Thug in a 2009 film titled “G.E.D.” about three teenagers trying to obtain a high school diploma before getting a role in the 2011 film “The Duel”. Then came “The Fury”, the biggest film he has played a part in. It made $211 million in the Box Office.
In 2017, he played Alex in “Curvature”, an American science fiction mystery thriller film directed by Diego Hallivis. He was in “Hell is Where the Home Is” or “Trespassers”, a 2018 American home invasion thriller. The same year, he starred in two other films, “Farming” and “The White Crow”.
Zach Avery’s most recent film role was Sam in the 2020 film “Last Moment of Clarity”, an American neo-noir thriller film written and directed by James and Colin Krisel, in their debut directorial roles. The actor has also appeared in about four short films during his career.
He is married to Mallory Horwitz and they welcomed a son named Jaxon in 2018.