A Los Angeles court on Monday sentenced a Hollywood actor, who is more talented for deception than comedy, to twenty years in prison for extracting $650 million from investors using fake contracts with Netflix or HBO platforms.
Zachary Horowitz, 35, is accused of orchestrating this astonishing pyramid fraud scheme for nearly seven years that allowed him to feed a lavish lifestyle, and was also ordered to pay $230 million.
About 250 victims identified by investigators, many of whom were friends of Zachary Horowitz and who were at times devastated by his embezzlement, but who had little chance of seeing the color of their money again, went in private jets, a sports car and a luxury villa.
Zachary Horowitz claimed that he bought the rights to regional films to subsequently monetize them with large profits from major broadcasters such as Netflix or HBO for distribution in Latin America.
Use the money taken from some to pay to others, with interest that can be as high as 25% to 45%. But when the Ponzi scheme collapsed, he lost $230 million.
“Zachary Horowitz presented himself as a Hollywood success story (…) but as his victims learned the hard way, he was not a successful businessman or a Hollywood insider. He was only playing a role,” the attorney general’s office summed up in the indictment.
The actor, who has appeared in thrillers or horror films under the stage name Zach Avery, admitted the facts last October. He has admitted that he never bought any distribution rights and fabricated fake contracts bearing the names of reputable VOD platforms.
“Amateur entrepreneur. Professional internet expert. Zombie maven. Incurable pop culture scholar.”