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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Advisor Faces 30 Years in Jail For Defrauding Retiree

A former Suntrust and M&T Securities advisor faces 30 years in jail after pleading responsible to defrauding an aged consumer of greater than $1 million over the course of practically 20 years.

Eddy Blizzard pleaded responsible in Maryland federal courtroom to financial institution fraud on Tuesday, in reference to the scheme concentrating on an unnamed consumer who’s recognized by the initials ‘R.M.’ within the plea settlement. 

Blizzard first entered the trade in 2001, with quick stints at UBS and Allfirst Brokerage earlier than becoming a member of M&T Securities in 2003. He labored there for 11 years earlier than departing for Suntrust. He was fired in 2017 for not following procedures “associated to commerce execution and error reporting,” in line with BrokerCheck.

Beginning in 1963, R.M. started work at a Baltimore-based business air-con firm, in line with the Justice Division. He was in a position to do that regardless of being unable to learn or write and labored as an AC technician by memorizing figures and visually understanding the work. 

R.M. declined quite a few promotions to supervisory positions on the firm due to his illiteracy, as a substitute remaining a technician. He usually labored about 30 hours time beyond regulation weekly to make more money. 

After 4 many years with the corporate, R.M. took a buyout and retired in 2003. He sought out an advisor at his financial institution, Suntrust, so he might make investments his retirement funds to create an inheritance for his grandchildren. Blizzard started working at Suntrust quickly after R.M. started investing with the financial institution and have become R.M.’s advisor.

In 2005, Blizzard instructed R.M. that he’d begun working as an impartial monetary advisor and requested R.M. if he’d like to go away Suntrust and work solely with Blizzard (although the advisor really hadn’t gone impartial). Blizzard stated he’d proceed figuring out of the financial institution’s department in Catonsville, Md. 

However when R.M. met him there about as soon as a month, Blizzard would meet with him in Blizzard’s automobile, not the workplace. This unusual association continued for a number of years with no clarification.

Quickly after, Blizzard started asking R.M. for clean checks, and R.M. remembered giving him as many as 20 checks. Blizzard would fill within the remaining info, and when R.M. received canceled checks within the mail, he’d acknowledge Blizzard’s handwriting.

On quite a few events, R.M. would go to his financial institution to withdraw cash and study there weren’t sufficient funds in his account. After calling Blizzard, the advisor would inform him to attend a day or two and there’d be cash obtainable, however he didn’t clarify why there have been no funds there within the first place. 

R.M. continued to belief Blizzard, believing his retirement funds have been in secure palms, and that Blizzard was dealing with funds on R.M.’s mortgage. However in August 2019, issues got here to a head, in line with the DOJ. R.M. was planning a household trip and tried to withdraw funds, solely to once more study there wasn’t any cash within the account. 

R.M. tried to succeed in Blizzard with no response for per week. He ultimately went to the advisor’s residence, knocking on his back and front door. Nobody got here to the door, however Blizzard left a voicemail whereas R.M. was there, telling him neighbors alerted him in regards to the loud knocking. Blizzard stated all of R.M.’s cash was gone and Blizzard had tried to kill himself and was at present hospitalized. 

The next month, after R.M.’s son reached out to Blizzard’s spouse on social media asking about R.M.’s financial savings, Blizzard contacted the consumer’s son, telling him he’d tried to kill himself as a result of he made dangerous investments that value R.M. his financial savings.

However this declare wasn’t true; within the plea settlement, Blizzard admitted he hadn’t tried to kill himself and was by no means hospitalized.

In actuality, Blizzard had been withdrawing cash from R.M.’s funds to make use of for his personal functions, together with “property taxes, building, boat funds and down funds for a brand new home,” in line with the DOJ.  

Between January 2013 and August 2019, there have been 242 distributions totaling $1.2 million from R.M.’s accounts, of which 129 have been particularly requested, versus common annuity funds, placing about $1 million into R.M.’s checking account. 

From April 2016 to April 2019, Blizzard deposited 112 checks drawn from that account into numerous financial institution accounts held by Blizzard, whether or not on his personal or collectively along with his spouse, and have been written out to Blizzard or his partner. 

At a number of factors, Blizzard even stole R.M.’s Social Safety earnings, which went immediately into his checking account. R.M.’s residence additionally went into foreclosures within the fall of 2019 as a result of Blizzard had not been making the mortgage funds as he claimed. On March 20, 2020, R.M. died on the age of 75.

Along with his potential jail sentence, Blizzard shall be required to pay full restitution totaling greater than $1.03 million. His sentencing is scheduled for April 30, 2024.

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