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Hollywood actor arrested in alleged $227-million Ponzi scheme

Written by on April 7, 2021

Zach Avery Arrested in Connection with Hollywood Ponzi Scheme

(Yahoo News) – 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.

Horwitz told investors falsely that he had “strategic partnerships” with HBO, Netflix and other platforms to license the foreign distribution rights. The investors were promised returns as high as 40% within a year.

In reality, the FBI said, Horwitz had no licensing deals and diverted much of the money for personal benefit. He used some of the money for the 2018 purchase of his Beverlywood home, now listed for sale for $6.5 million. The six-bedroom home features a pool, wine cellar and gym.

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