A former Morgan Keegan adviser has pleaded guilty to charges that he stole from an elderly investor. Charges included investment adviser fraud and making and subscribing a bogus tax return. Now, Harold “Hal” Blondeau could be facing up to eight years in prison. He also may have to pay restitution to his victim. Martha B. Capps is now 83.
Blondeau received power of attorney over the senior investor’s accounts as she was experiencing the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. She wanted him to keep her inheritance away from her husband. Large sums were taken out of Capps’ accounts.
The former Morgan Keegan adviser is accused of using some of the stolen funds to pay for personal expenses, including a beach house and $24,000 in wine. The beach house, purchased in Capps’ name, would have gone to Blondeau upon her death.
Almost $3 million was taken from the account of Martha B Capps. In 2007, attorneys for the elderly woman filed a lawsuit against Blondeau, his son Neal Knight, and Knight’s two daughters. The complaint contends that the group stole money from Capps. Blondeau and Knight are accused of establishing a non-profit foundation in the name of Capps’ father and donating the money to different organizations to enhance their own images. Capps’ money was also used for the college education of the two men’s children.
In 2007, Blondeau was let go from Morgan Keegan because he failed to disclose a loan that was obtained from a client. To date, Blondeau is the only one out of the four civil lawsuit defendants that is facing criminal charges in federal court.
Taking advantage of an elderly investor is a crime and can be grounds for an investor fraud lawsuit. Unfortunately, senior investors-especially those that have inherited money or have retirement savings-are easy targets of investor fraud.
Related Web Resources:
Raleigh investment adviser pleads guilty to fraud, Triangle Business Journal, June 11, 2009
Financial advisor admits to stealing from client, News & Observer, June 11, 2009
Elderly heir claims fraud by advisers, News & Observer, October 13, 2007
Fraud Target: Senior Citizens, FBI
Senior Investment Fraud News & Alerts, NASAA
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