LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A Los Angeles actor who appeared in low-budget horror and science-fiction movies — but portrayed himself in real life as a big-time industry player — is set to be sentenced today for running a $650 million Ponzi scheme.
Zachary Horwitz, who used the name Zach Avery in film credits, bilked hundreds of investors who thought their money would finance distribution rights for movies that would run on HBO and Netflix, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Horwitz, who lives in the Beverlywood area, pleaded guilty in October to one federal count of securities fraud.
Prosecutors are asking for a 20-year prison term and a restitution order of more than $230.3 million. The defendant’s sentencing position has been filed under seal and his attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also sued Horwitz and his firm, 1inMM Capital LLC, in civil court over the scam, which involved the sales of film-licensing rights, primarily in Latin American markets.
Horwitz, 34, operated 1inMM Capital as a Ponzi scheme, using victims’ money to repay earlier investors and to fund an “opulent” lifestyle, including the purchase of a $6 million Beverlywood home, federal prosecutors said.
“He lived the lifestyle: the posh Beverlywood home, the Vegas junkets, the trips by private jet,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “But, as his victims came to learn, defendant was…