Aspiring actor pleads guilty in $650 million Ponzi scheme

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — An aspiring actor has pleaded guilty to running a massive Ponzi scheme that raised at least $650 million from investors in phony Hollywood film licensing deals. Zachary Horwitz pleaded guilty Monday in Los Angeles to federal securities fraud. Prosecutors say Horwitz secured loans for his film company by falsely claiming the money would buy distribution rights to movies that would be licensed for distribution to streaming platforms such as Netflix and HBO. While some money went to repay earlier investors, authorities say about 200 of them lost approximately $230 million. Horwitz has appeared in several movies, usually in small roles, under the name Zach Avery.

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