Zachary Horwitz, a small-time actor who admitted to operating a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on Monday.
The Department of Justice said in a news release that Horowitz “raised at least $650 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.”
HBO, like CNN, is part of WarnerMedia.
In October, Horowitz pleaded guilty to a federal securities fraud charge and admitted to running the Ponzi scheme.
He received a 240 month sentence, according to Monday’s release, and must pay more than $230 million in restitution. CNN has reached out to Horwitz’s attorney for comment.
Horwitz, 35, was accused of putting some of the money in his personal accounts and using the money for purchasing a personal residence for approximately $5.7 million in cash, taking trips to Las Vegas and flying on chartered jets, according to a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Horwitz — better known by his stage name “Zach Avery” — spent the past decade acting in around a dozen mostly low-budget films, including “Trespassers” and “The White Crow,” according to his IMDb profile. He also had a minor uncredited role in “Fury,” which starred Brad Pitt.
- CNN Business’ Clare Duffy contributed to this report