Zachary Horwitz’s biggest role to date is as a defendant. The aspiring actor pleaded guilty on Monday to running a $650 million Ponzi scheme in which he faked licensing deals with Netflix and HBO, according to the Associated Press. As part of a plea agreement, the 34-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced in January, the U.S. attorney’s office announced in a statement.
Horwitz, who went by the name Zach Avery in low-budget horror and sci-fi films, admitted to falsely claiming he would acquire international-distribution rights to movies and license them to Netflix and HBO. The actor conned more than 250 investors, including close friends from college, into investing millions of dollars by showing them faux email correspondence with those companies’ executives, according to the Los Angeles Times’ review of his plea agreement. Horwitz also admitted to forging the contracts for distribution and licensing.
In May a federal grand jury indicted Horwitz on five counts of securities fraud, six counts of wire fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. With his pleading guilty to the single fraud charge, all of the others will be thrown out, per the Times. According to prosecutors, Horwitz duped investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars in loans for his film company, 1inMM Capital LLC, between 2014 and 2019.
As stated in SEC court documents, Horwitz fabricated a history of purchasing…