Actor Zachary Horwitz has been arrested in connection with an alleged multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
The news was announced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday.
The SEC said it “obtained an asset freeze and other emergency relief in an emergency enforcement action against Los Angeles-based actor Zachary Horwitz and his company, 1inMM (one in a million) Capital, LLC in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme that raised over $690 million,” said the statement.
Horwitz, 34, and 1inMM have been accused of telling investors they were purchasing film rights, purportedly to resell them to Netflix or HBO. The actor and company reportedly have no connection to either entertainment platform.
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In its complaint, the SEC accused Horwitz of showing investors “fabricated agreements and emails” between himself and HBO and Netflix regarding film rights and offering investors “returns in excess of 35%, and for many years paid supposed returns on earlier investments using funds from new investments,” the SEC said.
Furthermore, Horwitz allegedly “misappropriated investor funds for his personal use” and spent the cash on his multimillion-dollar home, pricey interior design and trips to Las Vegas.
“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,” said Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles regional office. “We obtained an asset freeze on an emergency basis to secure for the benefit of investors what remains of the money raised by Horwitz.”
Horowitz and 1inMM were charged with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws in the complaint, which “also seeks a permanent injunction, disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties against Horwitz and 1inMM.”
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A hearing will take place April 19 “to determine if the asset freeze should remain in force for the duration of the litigation.”
Horwitz’s attorney, Anthony Pacheco, did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Horwitz used the stage name Zach Avery and has 15 credited roles listed on IMDb under the name, including the upcoming film “Gateway,” starring Olivia Munn, Bruce Dern and more, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Horwitz also sent investors bottles of Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch alongside a report containing a list of films his company was supposedly distributing around the world, the outlet also reported.
Citing FBI information, the Times said Horwitz’s company has defaulted on more than 160 payments due to his investors. One of them, JJMT Capital LLC of Chicago, owed more than $160 million in principal and about $59 million in investment profits.
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Horwitz reportedly owes investors about $227 million in principal alone.
The actor was reportedly arrested on a wire fraud charge Tuesday morning at his home in the Beverlywood neighborhood of L.A. His home was also searched for evidence of securities and mail fraud, money laundering and other crimes.
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He appeared in court virtually on Tuesday from a Los Angeles jail. The judge agreed to release him on a $1 million secured bond.
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