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In 2013, Zach Avery’s acting career was starting to pick up. After appearing in a succession of short films and a couple of features that went nowhere, he’d gotten his big break: Playing (uncredited) a Nazi medic alongside (in the loosest sense of the term) Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf in “Fury,” which did well enough for itself in spite of being a World War II tank epic rather than the first installment of a new Marvel Comics Universe series about Nick Fury.

But Avery, née Horwitz, was smart enough to know that sometimes big breaks come of nothing, as indeed his has: Of the nine movies he’s been in since “Fury,” I recognize precisely zero. So that same year he played a bit part as a baddie in a big-time Hollywood production, he also started a film distribution company, 1inMM Capital, just in case.

Here, Avery was a smashing success, building up a library of 52 movies to distribute in far-flung parts of the globe in just two years. There were “strategic partnerships” with HBO and Netflix. Things were going so well he sent investors bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue with 1inMM’s 2015 annual report. Avery promised annual returns of as much as 40% on “safe investments”—you know, like the distribution rights to 2017 Ukrainian famine box-office bomb “Bitter Harvest.”

Unfortunately for those investors, Avery’s allegedly a far better actor off-screen than on.

In reality, the FBI said, Horwitz had no licensing deals and diverted much of the money for personal benefit. He used some of the money for the 2018 purchase of his Beverlywood home, now listed for sale for $6.5 million. The six-bedroom home features a pool, wine cellar and gym./Since December 2019, Horwitz’s company has defaulted on more than 160 payments due to his investors, according to the FBI. Its largest investor, JJMT Capital, LLC, of Chicago, is owed more than $160 million in principal and about $59 million in investment profits, Verrastro said.

Hahahaha “investment profits.”

Horwitz sent JJMT what he said was an agreement between HBO and 1inMM Capital to distribute the film in Africa and Latin America for three years. But the purported signature of the “president of operations” for HBO Latin American Holdings was forged, according to the FBI.

As the payment came due, however, Horwitz started sending fake emails from HBO executives to justify delays, and he did the same thing with fabricated emails from Netflix, the FBI said.

“In reality, neither Horwitz nor 1inMM Capital ever engaged in email correspondence with Netflix or HBO,” Verrastro wrote, “nor did Horwitz or 1inMM Capital ever have any business relationship with Netflix or HBO at all.”

Hollywood actor arrested in alleged $227-million Ponzi scheme [L.A. Times]

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