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DOJ Releases Highly Anticipated 2021 Fraud Report

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DOJ Releases Highly Anticipated 2021 Fraud Report

The DOJ released the Fraud Section's Year in Review for 2021 describing its 329 individual convictions, 30 trial wins, and eight corporate resolutions that yielded approximately $3.3 billion in payments to the US and global authorities.

The 329 individual convictions is a significant increase from the 213 individual convictions in 2020, and is partly attributable to the Fraud Section's continued prosecution of PPP and Cares Act fraud. Similarly, the 30 trials won in 2021 are almost double the 16 trial wins from 2020 as courts nationwide continue to reopen and operate amid an ever-changing Covid-19 landscape. And the decrease in corporate resolutions when compared to the 13 corporate resolutions totaling nearly $9 billion in 2020 is likely attributable to the 2020 record-breaking Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) settlements.

Read the DOJ Fraud Section's 2021 report here.

Actor Sentenced to Maximum 20 Years Imprisonment for Ponzi Scheme 

Actor Zachary Horwitz (professionally known as Zach Avery) was sentenced to 240 months imprisonment and ordered to pay $230,361,884 in restitution after he pled guilty to one count of securities fraud for running a Ponzi scheme. Horwitz is best known for his roles in the movies Last Moment of Clarity (2020), Hell Is Where the Home Is (2018), and Fury (2014).

According to DOJ's press release, Horwitz raised over $650 million based on false claims that investor money would be used to acquire film and distribution rights to films that would be licensed to major media companies, such as Netflix and HBO, and provided investors with fake film licensing and distribution agreements. Horwitz then used investor money to repay earlier investors and for personal use, including the purchase of a $6 million home, luxury vehicles, and travel by private jet.

Read DOJ's press release here.

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