Martha B. Capps of Raleigh, North Carolina, was a loving and caring mother to two children and a homemaker for most of her adult life. She also was a kind and trusting person. When Capps inherited a large sum of money from her aunt, she put her financial security in the hands of someone she thought to be trustworthy.
Her financial adviser, Hal Blondeau, promised to be ethically responsible and to act in her best interest. Despite his promise, Blondeau soon began siphoning millions of dollars from her to fund his own lavish lifestyle. When Capps was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2001, Blondeau took further advantage of her, capitalizing on a disease that robs those afflicted of their ability to make sound decisions.
Capps’ son Bruce discovered some discrepancies and stepped in just in time. As the holder of his mother’s power of attorney, he filed suit against Blondeau in 2007. After a seven-year legal battle, which Martha Capps would not live to see resolved, the Capps family ultimately was awarded more than $10 million in damages. In addition, Blondeau was charged with investment adviser fraud and sent to prison.
To honor their late mother’s memory, Bruce and his sister, Carol Woodry, established the Martha B. Capps Family Foundation using funds awarded in their lawsuit against Blondeau. Over the years they have made significant annual financial contributions to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.
“It is emotionally trying when loved ones suffer with dementia, and even more horrible when others prey on their vulnerable state of mind,” said Bruce. “It is our hope that the research community will soon cure Alzheimer’s disease, thereby lessening the opportunities for fraudulent behavior by unscrupulous financial advisers and other service providers.”