News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY - August 11, 2009

INVESTMENT COUNSELOR SENTENCED FOR

INVESTMENT ADVISOR AND TAX FRAUD

GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced HAROLD EARL BLONDEAU, 66, of Raleigh, North Carolina, to 36 months’ imprisonment. The Court ordered total restitution in the amount $425,694.00 to several entities, including the victim of the crime in her personal capacity, the trusts for which she is the beneficiary, the charitable organization founded with the victim’s funds and formerly directed by BLONDEAU, and the Internal Revenue Service. A Criminal Information was filed on April 28, 2009 charging BLONDEAU with investment advisor fraud, in violation of Title 15, United States Code, Sections 80b-6 and 80b-17 and making and subscribing a false return, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7106(1).

According to the Criminal Information, BLONDEAU utilized his role as an investment advisor to a particular client, referred to in the Criminal Information as Individual A, to gain access to funds held in trust for the benefit of Individual A. BLONDEAU would then convert these funds for his own personal use and benefit, including using them to purchase a beach house, large amounts of wine, and to pay down his own mortgage line of credit. BLONDEAU also failed to report or pay any taxes on these ill-gotten proceeds.

Commenting on the case, Mr. Holding stated, "This defendant chose to abuse a position of trust for personal profit, cheating not only a client, but the Federal Government as well. We will prosecute this type of fraud and abuse to it’s fullest extent."

Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation Jeannine A. Hammett stated, “It is extremely disappointing that Mr. Blondeau used his position to line his pockets and commit tax fraud. The IRS will continue to work with local, state and federal partners to combat this type of fraud.”

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the United States Internal Revenue Service. Assistant United States Attorney Jason H. Cowley served as prosecutor for the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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