An actor behind a Ponzi scheme that cost investors more than $ 230 million in bogus promises of movie rights pleaded guilty Monday and faced up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors said.
The man, Zachary Joseph Horwitz, 34, of Los Angeles, used money from the year-long plan to buy a $ 6 million home and pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card debt.
He pleaded guilty to a securities fraud case on Monday, the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a statement.
Horwitz told investors their money would be used to secure rights to films that Netflix and HBO wanted to distribute overseas, officials said.
But the money didn’t flow for that, and the license agreements and deals with Netflix and HBO were fake, Horwitz admitted in a plea agreement. The companies said they never did business with him or his company, prosecutors said. The overall plan raised at least $ 650 million and caused more than $ 230 million in losses.
“Mr. Horwitz has taken responsibility for his actions, and today’s complaint is an important step in that process,” said his attorney Ryan S. Hedges.
The Ponzi program eventually collapsed, and 1inMM Capital began defaulting on promissory note loans in 2019. Horwitz used the money that came in to pay off previous investors and to prop up the system, according to court documents.
Horwitz used some of the stolen money to buy a $ 6 million home in Beverlywood, a neighborhood of Los Angeles south of Beverly Hills, and to pay off more than $ 300,000 in credit card debt, prosecutors said. He is due to be sentenced on January 2nd.
According to his IMDb profile, Horwitz has 15 acting credits in his name. Four of them are for shorts; about half of them attribute an unnamed extras to him.