Zach Avery, a bit actor who allegedly ran a $650 million Ponzi scheme involving Netflix and HBO, has agreed to plead guilty.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Zach, whose real name is Zachary Horwitz, admitted in court papers that he failed to return $231 million he duped from investors. The rest of the money from the $650 million has been returned.
At a court hearing next month, Zach will plead guilty to one count of securities fraud, the Times says. The actor faces up to 20 years in prison for the scheme, and prosecutors have already said they plan to seek a large sentence.
A minor actor who appeared in "The Devil Below" and 2018's "Trespassers," Zach is alleged to have told investors that money would be used to purchase film distribution rights. He even provided investors with fake license agreements and fake distribution agreements with Netflix and HBO. The money he received was allegedly used to repay earlier investors and to fund his own lavish lifestyle, including the purchase of a $6 million home, courtside Lakers seats and several trips to Las Vegas.
Prosecutors said Zach swindled more that 250 people, including close friends and many of their family members. Several victims lost their retirement, according to the plea agreement.
"We allege that Horwitz promised extremely high returns and made them seem plausible by invoking the names of two well-known entertainment companies and fabricating documents," the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a press release last April.
Zach had been indicted on five counts of securities fraud, six counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Most of those charges will be dropped if the plea deal goes through on Oct. 4.