Hollywood Actor Zachary Horwitz Jailed For $650 Million Film Ponzi Scheme

Zachary Horwitz small-time horror movies beneath the identify Zach Avery

Los Angeles:

An American actor who swindled $650 million in an enormous Hollywood ponzi scheme, utilizing it to finance a lavish way of life of yachts, jets and quick automobiles, was jailed Monday for 20 years.

Zachary Horwitz created pretend contracts that he informed traders have been with HBO and Netflix to trick them into handing over huge sums of cash, which he splurged on personal flights, top-of-the-range autos and a luxurious Los Angeles mansion, full with a wine cellar.

“Horwitz portrayed himself as a Hollywood success story,” prosecutors mentioned, in response to the Division of Justice.

“He branded himself as an business participant, who… leveraged his relationships with on-line streaming platforms like HBO and Netflix to promote them international movie distribution rights at a gradual premium.

“However, as his victims got here to study, (Horwitz) was not a profitable businessman or Hollywood insider. He simply performed one.”

Horwitz, who acted in small-time horror movies beneath the identify Zach Avery, informed traders he was shopping for international distribution rights for US motion pictures, after which promoting them to streaming platforms.

The 35-year-old gave every sufferer a observe promising a good-looking revenue six or 12 months later.

Over seven years he saved the scheme going through the use of new traders’ cash to repay the previous ones.

By the point all of it fell aside, greater than $230 million had vanished.

He admitted safety fraud in October, and acknowledged that he had by no means purchased any movie rights, or secured any distribution contracts.

It might be “troublesome to conceive a white-collar crime extra egregious,” prosecutors mentioned in a memo to the decide, noting he began his lifetime of crime by swindling college pals, in response to the Los Angeles Instances.

“He started by betraying the belief of his personal pals, individuals who lowered their guard as a result of they may not presumably think about that somebody they’d identified for years would unflinchingly swindle them and their households out of their life financial savings,” they wrote.

Horwitz was jailed for 20 years, and ordered by Decide Mark Scarsito to repay $230 million to his victims.

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