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Actor charged with fraud in alleged multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, court documents show – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2021-04-08 03:36:00 –

It’s a bit like a strange Hollywood-centric script plot: relatively small actor Zack Howitz raised money on Tuesday from an investor who thought money was being spent buying and licensing movie rights. He was arrested for executing a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme, including doing, according to a statement from the Justice Department, Howitz abused funds raised from investors to trade movie licenses and of their money. Some are allegedly put into his personal account and used instead for items such as luxury watch subscriptions and payments of around $ 700,000. A celebrity interior designer, according to a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Howitz, 34, well known by his stage name “Zack Avery,” has starred in about 12 almost low-budget films, including “Intruder,” over the past decade. According to his IMDb profile, “The White Crow”. He also played an uncredited minor role in “Fury” starring Brad Pitt. He was charged with wire fraud after boasting an important Hollywood relationship and promising investors that his company, 1inMM Capital LLC, would acquire and license the film through a contract. .. According to the Ministry of Justice, there wasn’t really such a deal between Netflix and HBO (CNN and HBO share the parent company WarnerMedia). If convicted, Horwitz could face up to 20 years in prison. A criminal accusation filed on DOJ Monday claims that Horwitz defaults to promissory notes issued to retail investors through 1inMM in exchange for $ 227 million raised since late 2018. Another complaint filed by the SEC alleges that Horwitz and 1inMM Capital also raised more than $ 690 million from investors as part of the 2014-2019 scheme. As of Wednesday, Horwitz’s legal representative is not listed in court documents. Anthony Pacheco, appointed by The Guardian as a Horwitz lawyer, did not immediately return a CNN request for comment. “To secure the rest of the funds raised by Howitz for the benefit of investors,” said Michele Wayne Rein, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office, in a statement. Promising very high returns, the plan began around March 2014, according to SEC complaints, Howitz usually costs 35% to 45% of profits Related video: A little swagger returns to the box office with King Kong Howitz is said to use fun for investors ds gets distribution rights for certain movies (names like “Run with the Hunted” and “Blood Quantum”) and repays the profits to investors License Netflix or HBO to do so. He claimed to be related. The complaint claims that it provided investors with experience in the media content distribution industry and a counterfeit distribution agreement that pretended to come from Netflix and HBO. Paying a premium for that content had the financial capacity to do so, “the SEC complains. “One investor said,’I believed my investment would be safe if HBO was involved.'” During the scheme, the SEC said Howitz was paid by one investor to another. It claims to have invested a portion of $ 690 million. “The profits that appear to have come from the deal between Netflix and HBO.” However, Horwitz and 1inMM do not have a business relationship or distribution agreement with the streaming service, the SEC complains. Instead, he allegedly abused his money by buying a private home for about $ 5.7 million in cash, traveling to Las Vegas, and flying on a chartered jet, according to SEC complaints. .. In late 2019, Howitz allegedly stopped paying investors, according to SEC complaints, misleading promissory notes and reasons for the suspension, such as Netflix and HBO failing to make promised payments. Provided an explanation. At a hearing Tuesday afternoon, the Howitz bond was set at $ 1 million, but will not be released until the bond is approved, according to the DOJ. The prosecution is set for May 13. There will also be a hearing on April 19 to decide whether to maintain the SEC’s asset freeze.

It’s a bit like a strange Hollywood-centric screenplay plot: the relatively small actor Zachary Howitz arrested A statement from the Justice Department said Tuesday implemented a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme that included raising money from investors who believed the money was being spent buying and licensing film rights. Has been done.

Horwitz abuses the money raised from investors for a movie license and puts some of that money into his personal account, instead about $ 700,000 for luxury watch subscriptions and celebrity interior designers. It is said that it was used for payment of. Complaints filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission..

Well-known for his stage name “Zach Avery,” 34-year-old Howitz has been acting in mostly low-budget films for the past decade, including “Intruder” and “The White Crow.” IMDb profile.. He also played an uncredited minor role in “Fury” starring Brad Pitt.

He boasts an important Hollywood relationship and his company, 1inMM Capital LLC, acquires and licenses the film through a contract between Netflix and HBO (CNN and HBO share the parent company WarnerMedia). After promising, he was charged with wire fraud. According to the Ministry of Justice, no such agreement existed. If convicted, Howitz can face up to 20 years in prison.

A criminal accusation filed on DOJ Monday claims that Horwitz defaults to promissory notes issued to retail investors through 1inMM in exchange for $ 227 million raised since late 2018. As part of the 2014-2019 scheme, we have raised over $ 690 million from investors.

As of Wednesday, Horwitz’s legal representative was not listed in the court documents. Anthony Pacheco, appointed by The Guardian as Horwitz’s lawyer, did not immediately return CNN’s request for comment.

Allegedly, “call the names of two well-known entertainment companies to create a document.”

Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office, said on Tuesday that the SEC acquired an emergency asset freeze on Horwitz “to secure the rest of the funds raised by Horwitz for the benefit of investors.” Said in a statement. Horwitz promises very high returns, calls the names of two well-known entertainment companies, and claims to have made them look plausible by writing documents. “

According to SEC complaints, the scheme began around March 2014, and Howitz began raising 1inMM investor funding using promissory notes, which usually promise a profit of 35% to 45%.

Related video: King Kong returns a little stride to box office

Horwitz tells investors to get distribution rights for certain films (names like “Run with the Hunted” and “Blood Quantum”) and license Netflix or HBO to repay the profits to investors. It is said to have been. Complaints.

He claims to have relationships and experience in the media content distribution industry, and the complaint alleges that he offered investors a counterfeit distribution agreement that pretended to come from Netflix and HBO.

“Investors are convinced that HBO and Netflix are in urgent need of new content and are willing to pay a premium for that content. [and] “One investor said,’I believed my investment would be safe if HBO was involved,'” the SEC complained.

During the duration of the scheme, the SEC poured in a portion of the $ 690 million that Howitz paid from one investor to another, and made those profits “profit that appears to have been generated by the transaction between Netflix and HBO. It claims to be expressed.

However, Horwitz and 1inMM did not have a business relationship or distribution agreement with the streaming service, the SEC complains. Instead, he allegedly abused his money by buying a private home for about $ 5.7 million in cash, traveling to Las Vegas, and flying on a chartered jet, according to SEC complaints. I will.

In late 2019, Howitz stopped paying investors with unpaid promissory notes, and Netflix and HBO didn’t make the promised payments, according to SEC complaints. It is said that he explained.

The Justice Department claims that he “by default investors have about $ 227 million in unpaid principal.”

At a hearing on Tuesday afternoon, Howitz’s debt was set at $ 1 million, but he will not be released until the debt is approved, according to the Justice Department. The prosecution is set for May 13. There will also be a hearing on April 19 to decide whether to maintain the SEC’s asset freeze.

Actor charged with fraud in alleged multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, court documents show Source link Actor charged with fraud in alleged multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, court documents show

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