Advisor stole from athletes to make films, SEC says
One of Louis Martin Blazer III's professional athlete clients turned him down when Blazer asked him to invest in two movies, one about the mafia and the other titled "Sibling." That didn't stop Blazer, who went ahead and took $550,000 out of that client's account for the projects, according to the SEC.
The commission has charged the former RIA, based in Pittsburgh, with fraud and ordered him to repay the money he stole from clients. Without admitting or denying the charges, Blazer has agreed to settle the case, the SEC says.
'GROSSLY ABUSED TRUST'
In all, Blazer, 45, took $2.35 million from five clients he served in his premier concierge firm, Blazer Capital Management, which targeted professional athletes and other high-net-worth individuals, the commission alleges.
The commission did not name any of the clients who were victims.
Blazer, who is representing himself in the case, according to the SEC, could not be reached for comment.
“We allege that Blazer grossly abused the trust placed in him," Andrew Calamari, director of the SEC’s New York regional office, said in a statement.
After Blazer's client learned his advisor had stolen from him to fund the films, the client demanded payment and threatened to sue, the SEC says. In response, Blazer repaid the client by taking money out of a different athlete’s account "in Ponzi-like fashion," the commission says.
When confronted by SEC examiners, Blazer lied to them and falsified documents in an attempt to demonstrate that his clients were aware of the investments, the complaint says.
Blazer's firm not only recommended investments to his clients, but paid bills for them, assisted with tax preparation and helped them to develop budgets, the complaint says.