Who’s Zach Avery, the actor sentenced to 20 years in prison for a $650 million Ponzi scheme?

Zachary J. Horwitz, an actor who goes by the stage name Zach Avery was formally sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday, February 14, 2022, for his involvement in a 650 million-dollar Ponzi scheme operated by his company 1inMM Capital.

Prosecutors alleged that from 2014 to 2019, Horwitz secured hundreds of millions of dollars in loans for his film company, 1inMM Capital LLC, by falsely claiming the money would be used to buy distribution rights to movies that would then be licensed for distribution to streaming platforms such as Netflix and HBO.

Instead, Horwitz used some of the money to repay earlier investors in a classic Ponzi scheme and to support a lifestyle that included buying a $6 million home, prosecutors said.

More than 200 investors, including three of Horwitz’s closest college friends and their family members, lost about $230 million, authorities said.

The actor was arrested on April 5, 2021 after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against the actor for violating federal security laws.

According to the Associated Press, Avery, 35, was ordered to pay back more than $230.3 million.

On the day of his arrest, his wife petitioned for divorce at the Los Angeles County Superior Courts. At the same time, she filed for custody for their son.

During the court hearing for her divorce, Mallory said that her husband was, “deceiving and manipulating me and everyone around him, and he is not the person that I believed he was.” She also denied any knowledge of the crime. Court transcripts reveal that she said of her husband’s arrest: “The banging of the doors literally caused our walls to tremble and being woken up to a troop of FBI agents swarming our house was the most terrifying thing I had ever experienced.”

Fun Facts:

Born on December 5, 1986, Zach Avery is a California native who grew up between Florida and Indiana.

The 35-year-old earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University and made his on-screen debut with a role in the 2009 film G.E.D.

He has since appeared in a number of a small, low-budget films, including Last Moment of Clarity, The White Crow, Trespassers, and The Devil Below. He’s also credited with a small part in the Brad Pitt-fronted Fury.

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