Actor Zachary Horwitz has been arrested in connection with an alleged multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.
The news was announced by the United States 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 a alleged Ponzi scheme that raised over $ 690 million, “the statement said.
Horwitz, 34, and 1inMM have been accused of telling investors they were buying movie rights, allegedly to resell them to Netflix or HBO. The actor and the company reportedly have no connection to any of the entertainment platforms.
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In its complaint, the SEC accused Horwitz of showing investors “fabricated agreements and emails” between himself, HBO and Netflix regarding the film rights and offering investors “returns of more than 35%, and for many years they paid Assumed Previous Investment Returns Using New Investment Funds, “the SEC said.
Additionally, Horwitz allegedly “misappropriated investors’ funds for his personal use” and spent the cash on his multi-million dollar home, expensive 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 emergency asset freeze to secure, for the benefit of investors, what remains of the money raised by Horwitz.”
Horowitz and 1inMM were charged with violating the anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws in the lawsuit, which “also seeks a permanent injunction, restitution, pre-trial interest and civil penalties against Horwitz and 1inMM.”
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A hearing will be held on April 19 “to determine whether the asset freeze should remain in effect 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 whiskey along with a report containing a list of films his company allegedly distributed around the world, the outlet also reported.
Citing information from the FBI, the Times said Horwitz’s company has defaulted on more than 160 payments due to its investors. One of them, JJMT Capital LLC of Chicago, owed more than $ 160 million in equity and about $ 59 million in investment earnings.
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Horwitz reportedly owes investors about $ 227 million in equity alone.
The actor was reportedly arrested on a wire fraud charge Tuesday morning at his home in Los Angeles’ Beverlywood neighborhood. His home was also searched for evidence of securities and mail fraud, money laundering and other crimes.
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He appeared virtually in court Tuesday from a Los Angeles jail. The judge agreed to release him with a guaranteed bond of $ 1 million.