Eddy Blizzard, 45, of Perry Hall, pleaded guilty this week in connection to a bank fraud scheme in which he embezzled upwards of $1 million from an elderly client’s retirement account.
Blizzard, who worked for a bank securities and bank investment security companies in Maryland for years, targeted a lifelong resident, “R.M.,” who attended school through the ninth grade and turned 75 in 2020.
He worked for 40 years, taking around 15 to 30 hours of overtime per week to make extra money before taking a buyout from his commercial air conditioning job in 2003 to retire, officials said.
Six months later, R.M. decided to invest the money to provide an inheritance for his grandchildren, where he encountered Blizzard, who was working at the bank he frequented at the time before bilking his new victim.
According to court documents, Blizzard told R.M. that he “went out on his own,” as a full-time independent financial advisor, though he claimed he would continue working out of the bank until he got his own office; however, when the two would meet, it would be in the parking lot of the bank, inside his car, not in the office.
That arrangement went on for years.
Once he became his financial advisor, Blizzard admitted that he began asking R.M. for blank checks, which were used for personal purposes, and not for the benefit of his client, who was unaware.
On at least 12 different instances, R.M. went to his bank to withdraw cash and was told there was not enough money in the account, prompting a call to Blizzard who instructed him to “wait a day or two” and there would be funds in the account.
No questions were raised.
During his years of investment with Blizzard, R.M. believed that his retirement funds were protected, meaning they would not lose value – a fact that Blizzard reiterated to R.M. many times. R.M. also believed that Blizzard was handling payment of his mortgage.
It wasn’t until 2019 that alarm bells were sounding for the retiree.
R.M went to Blizzard’s Perry Hall home to talk in person, banging on the front and back door, though no one responded. While he was still there, the man received a voicemail from Blizzard stating that his neighbors had called him about the noise, further advising that all of R.M.’s money was gone.
Blizzard went on to claim that he had attempted suicide at his parents’ home in South Carolina and was being hospitalized.
As explained in his guilty plea, Blizzard admitted that, in fact, he was never hospitalized and did not attempt suicide in South Carolina and that the reason R.M.’s account lost value was almost entirely because Blizzard withdrew R.M.’s funds, and deposited those funds into his own bank account, to use for his own purposes.
In total, approximately $1 million was taken from the man’s retirement accounts by his financial advisor. Blizzard also stole from R.M.’s Social Security income before the man’s home was put into foreclosure because Blizzard failed to make mortgage payments.
He died on March 20, 2020.
“(Blizzard) perpetrated a heartless scheme that preyed on a vulnerable elderly victim, stealing more than a million dollars,” US Attorney Erek Barron said. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those who engage in these despicable schemes targeting elderly victims.”
When he is sentenced in April, Blizzard will face up to 30 years in prison for bank fraud and will pay at least $1,030,000 in restitution to his victim and forfeit $848,000.
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