The 34-year-old man, real name Zachary J Horwitz, was arrested in Los Angeles on Tuesday in connection with a Ponzi scheme which authorities allege investors defrauded more than 227 million dollars (165 million pounds sterling)

Avery is accused of fabricating licensing deals with Netflix, HBO and other platforms to secure funding for its movie distribution company, 1inMM Capital LLC, according to the FBI

In an affidavit under oath filed in federal court in Los Angeles, FBI agent John Verrastro claimed that Avery then used the funds for “personal benefit” and to make payments to previous investors “at the way of a classic Ponzi scheme ”

Avery – who has appeared in films such as Fury and The White Crow – in 2013 founded Los Angeles-based 1inMM Capital LLC, which he allegedly claimed to have distributed in the Latin American market through partnerships with HBO and Netflix

In 2015, he reportedly sent investors bottles of Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch, along with an annual report stating that the company had “successfully acquired and distributed 49 films through the 1inMM Capital banner without incurring a single loss in the process”

The report included a ‘library snapshot’ of films that Avery allegedly claimed his company had rights to, including Jean-Claude Van Damme’s action film Kickboxer and the 2012 horror The Lords of Salem

Avery also claimed to have expanded its partnership with Netflix and HBO to distribute films in Australia and New Zealand.

According to Verrastro, the annual report reads: “With this growth, we are able to safely and profitably distribute over 25 additional films per year, which creates many investment opportunities and substantial growth in our thriving feature film library”

Verrastro said investors would be promised a return of up to 40% within a year, but with the payments due, Avery allegedly fabricated an email correspondence with executives at Netflix and HBO to justify the delays

Verrastro wrote: “In fact, neither [Avery] nor 1inMM Capital have ever had any email correspondence with Netflix or HBO, and [Avery] or 1inMM Capital have never had a relationship of business with Netflix or HBO”

Avery is accused of defaulting on more than 160 payments since December 2019 and owing investors just $ 227 million in principal, affidavit says

Authorities say Avery typically paid for returns through the end of 2019 allegedly using funds from more recent investments

Each of the payments was allegedly tied to a single movie that Avery and 1inMM Capital claimed to own the distribution rights and had licensed to HBO or Netflix

Avery is accused of using the investments to finance the purchase of his $ 5-7million house (£ 4m), $ 100,000 (£ 72,000) on travel and an American Express bill of $ 1 8million (£ 1 3 m)

Avery faces wire fraud charges and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted

He appeared in court on Tuesday via teleconference and his bond has been set at $ 1million (£ 727,000) but will remain in custody until bail is approved

In addition to having an uncredited role as a medic in Brad Pitt Fury’s war film, Avery has appeared in the thriller Last Moment of Clarity alongside Samara Weaving and the Farming and Curvature films.

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Zach Avery

World News – CA – Actor Zach Avery Arrested for Suspected Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme

Source: https://metro.co.uk/2021/04/07/zach-avery-arrested-over-alleged-multi-million-dollar-ponzi-scheme-14372293/