Amazon MGM Acquires Documentary ‘Hollywood Ending’ On Actor Turned Ponzi Schemer Zachary Horwitz 

Zachary Horwitz flanked by attorneys Ryan Hedges, left, and Anthony Pacheco

Zachary Horwitz flanked by attorneys Ryan Hedges, left, and Anthony Pacheco Gary Coronado/Getty Images

EXCLUSIVE: Amazon MGM Studios has acquired Hollywood Ending, a new documentary from UnTypical, a VICE Studios Group company, and Library Films. Directed by Rebecca Chaiklin (Tiger King), the film follows the downfall of Zach Horwitz, the charismatic “midwestern, millennial Madoff” who ran a $690M Ponzi scheme under the noses of those closest to him.

Also known by his stage name Zach Avery, Horwitz is a former actor who deceived investors by falsely claiming to have lucrative licensing deals with such prominent streaming platforms as Netflix and HBO. His scheme began around 2014 when he started soliciting funds from investors, promising high returns from licensing deals for movies. Horwitz operated through his company, 1inMM Capital LLC, which he presented as successful in film distribution. To maintain the illusion of legitimacy, he provided investors with fake documents, including fabricated licensing agreements and emails purportedly from entertainment executives.

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Using the funds from new investors, Horwitz paid off earlier investors, while also funding his lavish lifestyle. This included purchasing a $6 million mansion in Los Angeles, luxury cars, and taking expensive trips. The scheme eventually unraveled in 2021 when investors started demanding returns and Horwitz was unable to continue the cycle of payouts.

In April 2021, Horwitz was arrested by the FBI and charged with wire fraud. He pleaded guilty to securities fraud later that year. On February 14, 2022, he was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $230 million in restitution to his victims.

Best known for directing and exec producing the Netflix phenomenon Tiger King, Chaiklin subsequently helmed and exec produced the follow-up series Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story. She’s also co-directed the documentaries Another World, Lockdown, USA and Last Party 2000.

Producers on Hollywood Ending include Library Films’ Chris Smith, UnTypical’s Danny Gabai and Alice Bristow, and Article 19’s Chaiklin. The film will ultimately be available to stream on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.

Earier this year unveiling the Frida Kahlo doc Frida from director Carla Gutiérrez, Amazon released the Navy and Marine Corps-focused doc The Blue Angels in theaters and on Prime Video on May 24. Among the next docu projects bound for the streamer is I Am: Celine Dion on June 25.

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