As I was trying to make a 2:45 tee time on Tuesday afternoon, I was stopped on Lassiter Mill, near Root elementary school. Traffic was totally backed up so that I couldn’t turn around, leaving me with no way to get to the CCC (Carolina Country Club for you inbreds that don’t know what that is). After ten minutes of sitting in my SUV, I got mad and did what I always do when I can’t have my way, I went home to see if my parents could solve my problems for me or just distract me with something else until I forgot what I was furious about. It works every time.
I entered the house and found my parents in the kitchen, Mother with a glass of wine in one hand and her iPhone 4 in the other, Dad had just gotten home from work and was on his phone as well.
“Yeah, we’ll have to find a replacement for poker night if he actually goes through with this. He probably won’t though, he’s such a little drama queen sometimes,” my father said.
Mother was on the phone as well, “He should just go ahead and do it, I’ve got to get to the Harris Teeter before 5:00, and I’m sure those children have soccer practice to attend.”
They both ignored me as I stood in the doorway, which was normal. I reached for the closest antique and knocked it over. The glass sculpture from Murano (that’s in Italy) shattered as it hit the marble kitchen counter. They both stopped.
“Whoops…..Now that I’ve got your attention. What’s going on? There are tons of police cars near Root. There better not be a school shooting,” I said.
“That ornament was $2,300, I can’t believe you! Oh, and Mr. Blondeau is trying to kill himself, so Root is under lock-down,” said my mother, as she brushed the $2,300 into the trash.
“Well, that’s a relief. I was worried that I was going to have to change my Facebook profile picture to say “Today, we are all Raccoons” and I have no idea where to find a picture of the Root mascot, God knows their website is terrible. I guess I could just use a picture of a real raccoon, but that wouldn’t look right….well maybe I could scan in that cartoon drawing of Rooty the Raccoon from my 5th grade yearbook….” I wondered aloud.
“That’s not funny. Mr. Blondeau is going through a lot right now. He’s very unstable,” my father said, sternly.
“Why?” I asked, still wondering how I could scan in that picture of Rooty the Raccoon.
“He broke the law and was sentenced to three years in federal prison,” he replied.
“Woah, who the hell were his lawyers? He actually got convicted?! Hah, idiot. What’d he do wrong?”
“He was caught stealing his clients’ money and using it to buy a beach house, wine, and to put his kids through college, among other things,” my mother replied.
“Ok….So what’d he do wrong? I thought that’s just the way wealthy people do financial aid for college.” I asked, still confused about what crime had actually been committed.
“William, that’s illegal. You can’t steal your clients’ money,” said my father.
“But Dad, you said, ‘the best way to earn a living is by taking from others what they’ve rightfully earned, and to never expose your ties to the shell corporations that you’ve set up in various off shore accounts because if….”
“That’s enough, William!” he yelled.
“Oh, well, I don’t really see the big deal. I’m more concerned with the fact that I’m missing my tee time and might miss pasta night. F’ing pasta night, Mom! What the hell am I supposed to eat?”
“I don’t know, honey, I’m in the same dilemma. I can’t get to Harris Teeter and I’d rather starve than go shop at Kroger on Six Forks,” she said.
“Some people are so selfish. Why didn’t he just fake his death like Uncle Ken (former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay) did and move to his private island off the coast of…”
“William! You’re not supposed to talk about that,” my father yelled, cutting me off in mid-sentence.
Dad gets this way whenever I talk about Uncle Ken and his bad ass island that we still travel to on vacation sometimes. Since Dad and Uncle Ken were such good business partners, the SEC and FBI bugged our house phone for about a year after Uncle Ken “died”. Remembering this, I pulled our kitchen phone closer and said, “Oh, yeah…..Too bad Uncle Ken is dead. His funeral was so sad,” as I winked at my parents.
“Phone taps only work when you’re actually using the phone, not just standing near it. Just leave you idiot,” he said, shaking his head.
Appalled that they weren’t fixing my problems or distracting me with presents, I left the kitchen to wallow in self pity. Curious as to why Mr. Blondeau had gotten in trouble, I Google’d him on my iPhone 4. This is what I found: (click here for the original article):
Attorneys for an 81-year-old Raleigh woman with dementia claim that her Raleigh financial adviser and a Florida lawyer diverted at least $2 million from her accounts for their benefit.
Martha B. Capps got bad advice from her longtime adviser, Harold “Hal” Blondeau, a former N.C. State basketball player, and lost a large portion of a $4 million inheritance. She knew little or nothing about the diversion of money from her accounts to various causes, several with ties to Blondeau.
Florida records show that a foundation set up by Hal has given more than $450,000 to Peace College, St. Mary’s School, the N.C. Museum of Art and Ducks Unlimited. Hal used the charitable donations to enhance his own reputation, and also diverted money from Capps’ accounts for college tuition for his children and $24,000 in wine purchases. Hal also borrowed $350,000 from Capps and bought a beach house at Morehead City in her name that would be passed on to him if she should die.
Capps lived with her husband until December 2005, when she moved into an assisted living home. Now diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Capps inherited at least $4 million in 1989. (I’m shocked she still had any money 10 years later. I would’ve blown through that in six months.)
Capps leaned on Hal to invest the money and protect it from her husband with whom she had a contentious relationship.
The Marvin L. Baker Family Foundation, named after a relative of Capps, was formed in 2001. That year, Bruce Capps first began to notice his mother’s lapse in memory.
From 2001 to 2006 the Baker foundation gave $68,200 to St. Mary’s, where Hal’s daughter attended (and probably stalked guys that went to Broughton), and $6,000 to the Edenton Street United Methodist Church, where Hal is a member.
More than $70,000 went to the N.C. Museum of Art. In 2005, Hal served on the Museum of Art Foundation’s board or directors.
Ducks Unlimited, got $31,950 from the Baker Foundation. Hal’s son once served as a chairman for a Raleigh-area chapter.
The Baker Foundation, although incorporated in Florida, lists Hal’s Raleigh home as its address and had no board and no officers other than Hal and Knight.
Hal plead guilty last year to investment adviser fraud and tax fraud, for not reporting or paying taxes on the illegal income. He admitted taking nearly $3 million from a then-83-year-old Raleigh woman. Hal was sentenced in August to 36 months in prison.
I don’t really see the big deal here. I mean, carpe diem (that means “buyer beware” for you morons that didn’t make it past Business 101 or haven’t seen the movie Wall Street – I can’t wait for the sequel). This guy’s getting vilified for simply stealing money to send his kids to college and donate to good causes like the Art Museum and Peace College. How else is he supposed to pay for the Ducks Unlimited banquet in this economy? Some of you are scoffing at the $24,000 he spent on wine, but I mean, I’m sure he’s sorry for partying. Luckily, my parents didn’t get swindled, since they were smart enough to take their money out of the market and buy gold coins, just like Glenn Beck told them to do.
Sure, people are upset that he stole money from an old lady who had Alzheimer’s. I don’t know what that is, but Google tells me it’s a disease where you lose your memory, which worries me since I can never remember what happens after I’ve been drinking. I may have to get checked for this Alzheimer’s disease. Anyway, people forget that this lady willingly gave her money to Blondeau to invest and he willingly took it and used it for himself to buy cool stuff, put his kids through college, and make people think he was really awesome at giving money to charity.
What pisses me off is that he spent Tuesday afternoon pretending to kill himself, which caused Lassiter Mill Road to get shut down, in addition to Root elementary being put under “lock-down”. Here’s the WRAL article explaining his desperate cry for help. Go here if you want to help prevent Alzheimer’s so people won’t rip off people with Alzheimer’s, get caught, be sentenced to jail, and then scare half the neighborhood when they pretend to kill themselves.