Ex SunTrust (Truist) Broker Eddy Blizzard Charged With Embezzlement of Over $1 Million

Ex SunTrust (Truist) Broker Eddy Blizzard Charged With Embezzlement of Over $1 Million

I’ve seen the landscape of financial advisement shift throughout my career, observing an intricate dance between market forces and legal frameworks. Certainly, there is truth in the words of renowned economist John Keynes, who said, “The markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”

And yet, not all shifts in the advisement landscape are due to market forces—some are sadly the result of unscrupulous actors within the industry. A chilling financial fact stands out: not all financial advisors have their clients’ best interests at heart. According to a study, over the past decade, 7% of financial advisors have been disciplined for misconduct, ranging from putting clients in unsuitable investments to outright fraud.

With that in mind, let’s delve into a case that’s particularly close to my experiences.

In my years merging the paths of finance and law, I’ve come to realize that trust is the cornerstone of any client-advisor relationship. The recent case of Eddy Blizzard underscores this principle—Blizzard betrayed the trust of his clients in a most egregious manner.

After an impeccable career spanning almost four decades, a diligent worker named **AB** chose to entrust his retirement savings to what he believed to be a safe pair of hands at his local bank. When Blizzard suggested AB follow him to his new independent advisory role, the latter’s affirmative response paved the way for a series of unfortunate events.

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AB’s trust in Blizzard led to forged checks and stolen savings. Undetected and unhindered, Blizzard’s fraudulent activities escalated until the unthinkable happened: AB’s retirement funds vanished.

Anyone considering financial advisement should verify their advisor’s credentials. A quick check of an advisor’s FINRA BrokerCheck record can reveal a history of misconduct or disciplinary actions. For instance, an advisor’s FINRA CRD number is a unique identifier that can provide transparency about their professional background—make use of it.

AB’s financial nightmare was compounded when the IRS contacted him regarding unpaid taxes on funds he never withdrew—an additional burden atop the shock of financial ruin. To add insult to injury, his home, which he had believed to be secure under Blizzard’s management, was foreclosed upon.

I sympathize profoundly with AB’s plight, a sobering reminder of why diligence and oversight are paramount in financial advisement.

Blizzard’s term at Sun Trust Investment Services, now Truist, came to an abrupt end due to policy violations. Surprisingly, this termination did not precipitate a career change; instead, Blizzard continued his fraudulent activities, leaving a trail of devastation.

Here are the monetary damage highlights from AB’s case:

Theft and Fraud: Despicable manipulation and theft resulted in an illegal siphoning of approximately $1.4 million from AB’s retirement accounts.
Checks and Deception: Over one hundred checks, totaling roughly $848,000, were diverted into Blizzard’s accounts.
IRS Complications: Unsettling tax demands from the IRS of about $63,000 in unpaid income tax on the illicitly distributed funds.

Blizzard now potentially faces a 20-year sentence for wire fraud, with an additional two-year mandatory incarceration for identity theft. Such a sentence, however, can only partly address the pain inflicted.

In analyzing Blizzard’s case, it’s evident that regulatory frameworks alone aren’t sufficient. A comprehensive approach to safeguarding investors’ interests is essential.

In my dual capacity, I advocate for thorough due diligence to protect financial assets and preserve the integrity of the financial advisement sector. It’s not merely about abiding by regulations; it’s about fostering a culture of transparency and responsibility.

And for fellow professionals within the sphere of financial guidance and legal counsel, we bear the responsibility not just to apply our technical expertise, but to also serve as sentinels against malpractice..EntityFrameworkCore

To those seeking financial advice, remain vigilant, verify reputations, and never hesitate to ask probing questions. Your security and peace of mind deserve nothing less.

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