SEC says Pittsburgh financial adviser defrauded pro athletes

Louis Martin Blazer III took about $2.35 million from five clients to invest in movie projects in Ponzi-like fashion

May 6, 2016 @ 3:31 pm

By Christine Idzelis

A financial adviser in Pittsburgh stole money from several professional athletes to invest in movie projects in which he had a stake, according to charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Louis Martin Blazer III took about $2.35 million from five clients without their authorization to help finance two films, “Mafia the Movie” and “Sibling,” the SEC said Friday. In one case, Mr. Blazer allegedly stole $500,000 from the account of an athlete who had refused to invest in the projects.

After that client discovered the wrongdoing and threatened a lawsuit, Mr. Blazer took money from another athlete to make the repayment in “Ponzi-like fashion,” according to the statement.

“We allege that Blazer grossly abused the trust placed in him by his clients and repeatedly took their money without authorization,” Andrew Calamari, director of the SEC's New York Regional Office, said in the statement. “And when our examiners put him on the spot, he resorted to false statements and false documents.”

Mr. Blazer, age 45, resides in Clinton, Pa. He is the founder of Pittsburgh-based Blazer Capital Management, a "concierge" firm that targeted professional athletes and other high net worth individuals, according to the SEC's complaint filed Friday in federal court in Manhattan. He defrauded clients between 2010 and 2012, the document shows.

Efforts to reach Mr. Blazer for immediate comment were unsuccessful.

The adviser agreed to settle the agency's charges without admitting or denying the allegations, and the financial penalties will be decided at a later date, the agency said.

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