Hollywood actor, Zach Avery, arrested in connection with $690 million scam
Who is Zach Avery?
No, seriously, who? We'll forgive you for not knowing the name (we didn't either), but the 34-year-old actor has allegedly swindled half of Hollywood with a Ponzi scheme to the tune of $690 million dollars - that's £502m in British sterling.
So, in answer to our/your question, "who is Zach Avery?", he's seemingly yet another rich man trying to get richer, apparently scamming millions through tricking people into purchasing fake movie deals to fund his luxurious lifestyle.
Avery was arrested on Tuesday by the FBI, after it was alleged that he had forged several executives' signatures and raised funds from investors for licensing deals with Netflix and HBO for projects that simply did not exist. That's next level daft, lad.
He has subsequently been charged with wire fraud and if convicted, is facing as much as 20 years in prison. So, in theory, he could spend more time behind bars than he ever did on our screens. Oh, the sheer poetic irony.
An official criminal complaint against Avery - real name Zachary Horowitz - was filed by prosecutors and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday, and his bail was set at a cool one million dollars. It also believed to have been paid.
To make things even more hilariously bad, Avery is believed to have spent the money on "lavish personal spending": everything from extravagant trips to Las Vegas, cars and chartered jets, to a $54,600 watch subscription service and buying a $5.7m mansion in Los Angeles flat out.
A pretty impressive for a virtually unknown actor whose IMDb page has just over a dozen mainly minor credits. The only name we recognised was Fury, the 2014 war film starring Brad Pitt; everything else is pretty much a straight to the DVD bargain bin title.
In SEC's official statement on Tuesday, it is alleged that "Horwitz promised extremely high returns and made them seem plausible by invoking the names of two well-known entertainment companies [Netflix and HBO] and fabricating documents."
The scam is believed to have started as early as 2015, when his company, 1inMM Capital LLC (ugh), promised investors that they would buy the rights to distribute films in Latin America, Africa and New Zealand.
Throughout the various fake deals he supposedly concocted, benefactors were promised returns of at least 35% within a year. However, everything started to collapse when the terribly named company started defaulting on its payments in 2019. It's certainly taken the prosecutors a while, but it looks like the fraudster has finally been caught.