Small-time actor Zachary Horwitz has admitted to operating a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. He has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

The United States Department of Justice said in a news release that Horowitz “raised at least US$650 million [aprox. $910 million] with bogus claims that investor money would be used to acquire licensing rights to films that HBO and Netflix purportedly had agreed to distribute abroad.”

In October, Horowitz pleaed guilty to a United States federal securities fraud charge and admitted to running the Ponzi scheme. He was originally arrested in April 2021.

He received a 20 year sentence, and must pay more than US$230 million (approx. $322 million) in restitution.

Prosecutors said it was the biggest Ponzi scheme in Hollywood history.

The 35-year-old actor was accused of putting some of the money in his personal accounts and using the money for purchasing a personal residence for approximately US$5.7 million (approx. $8 million) in cash, taking trips to Las Vegas and flying on chartered jets, according to a complaint filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Horwitz is better known by his stage name “Zach Avery,” and has spent the past decade acting in around a dozen mostly low-budget films.

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.