DOJ Charges Maryland Advisor with Wire Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft

Posted on May 3rd, 2021 at 9:20 AM
DOJ Charges Maryland Advisor with Wire Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice charged financial advisor Eddy Blizzard with both wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Blizzard allegedly drained the retirement account of an elderly client who had over $1 million in savings. As a result, the unnamed victim (named in the complaint as “R.M.”) owed money to the IRS and his house was foreclosed.

Blizzard was licensed both as a registered broker and as an investment advisor representative. The Department of Justice did not name the companies Blizzard had been employed with, but according to Blizzard’s BrokerCheck profile, he had worked at M&T Securities and then moved to Suntrust Investment Services.

R.M. spent forty years working for a Maryland-based air conditioning company until he retired in 2003. He then went to M&T Bank to invest his retirement funds, where he met Blizzard. Blizzard became R.M.’s financial advisor, and when he left M&T to work independently in 2005, he asked R.M. to leave the bank and instead use his services. R.M. recounts having advisory meetings in Blizzard’s car, and according to the affidavit, he never asked nor was informed as to why they were meeting that way. Upon Blizzard’s request, R.M. provided him with fifteen to twenty signed blank checks around 2010.

R.M. attempted to withdraw cash from the bank but was told that there were not enough funds in his account. Blizzard instructed R.M. to wait one or two days before checking again, and R.M. obliged because he trusted that Blizzard was paying off his mortgage for him. In 2019, R.M. attempted to withdraw cash for a family vacation but did not have enough money in his account. According to the affidavit, he called Blizzard and received no response. R.M. then went to Blizzard’s home and banged on his doors. R.M. later received a voicemail from Blizzard stating that all of R.M.’s money was gone, and he was in the hospital after an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Blizzard claimed to have been at his parents’ home at the time of the incident, but his parents did not corroborate that the suicide attempt had occurred.

There were 242 reported distributions from R.M.’s depository accounts between 2013 and 2019. 129 of those distributions, which equated to $1.2 million, were specifically requested from his retirement account. 

In 2019, R.M. received a letter from the IRS stating that he owed about $63,000 in federal income taxes because of his disbursement activity in his retirement accounts. Towards the end of the year, his home was foreclosed. R.M. passed away in March of 2020.

Blizzard now faces a fraud charge with a maximum 20-year prison sentence along with an identity theft charge with a 2-year maximum sentence.

Eccleston Law LLC represents investors and financial advisors nationwide in securities, employment, regulatory and disciplinary matters.

Tags: eccelston, eccleston law, doj, wire fraud, identity theft

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