Court orders RIA to pay nearly $2 million for defrauding athletes

Louis Martin Blazer III of Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Blazer Capital Management was barred last year.

Aug 10, 2017 @ 1:55 pm

By Investment News

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained a final judgement against Pittsburgh, Pa.-based financial adviser Louis Martin Blazer III, who was accused of taking money without permission from the accounts of several professional athletes.

Mr. Blazer, who heads Blazer Capital Management, used the funds to invest in movie projects and make Ponzi-like payments, and then lied to SEC examiners who uncovered the unauthorized withdrawals, the agency said in a release.

The final judgment orders Mr. Blazer to pay approximately $1.8 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest and a civil money penalty of $150,000. The SEC had barred him from the industry in May 2016.

According a report on TribLive, a Pittsburgh-area web site, Mr. Blazer has been involved in several cases in which athletes accused him of wrongdoing.

Finra records from 2011, cited by the TribLive, reveal allegations that Mr. Blazer misappropriated $4 million from a client's account. Mr. Blazer blamed the client, a professional football player, "who over the same period of time withdrew money — I believe recklessly — and despite numerous warnings about his spending habits continued to deplete his accounts."

Also cited were Allegheny County court records showing that New Jersey-based First Choice Bank sued Mr. Blazer in 2013 and 2014 for a series of unpaid loans the adviser signed for as a guaranty. Ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, the loans were taken out in 2011 by athletes including former University of Pittsburgh basketball standout DeJuan Blair, former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little and former NFL running back Anthony Allen.

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