There may be "nothing stronger than a mother's love." But, if there were something that could rival that powerful bond it would be the potential fury unleashed by a mother scorned.
In 2011, nationally renowned financial consultant Nadia Cavner apparently couldn't bear the sight of her beloved daughter Maral's mental anguish over breaking up with her boyfriend. So, federal prosecutors charge the Springfield, Missouri business dynamo and philanthropist turned erratically vengeful toward the University of Memphis student who'd broken her daughter's heart. Her nefarious plot landed her before Memphis federal court judge, John Fowlkes, who accepted her plea of guilty to a rare charge on Friday.
"You have to consider children and the suffering that children go through and how parents feel about it," says Steve Farese, Nadia Cavner's attorney. "I think the bigger question should be how many federal stalking cases have ya'll ever covered?"
The answer to that would normally range anywhere from slim to none. But, the bizarre nature of Cavner's case and her stature in the business world is a magnet for media attention.
In court prosecutors laid out what would have been the trail of evidence they'd have used at trial. Beginning in July 2011, Cavner, using a vice president of her investment company to spearhead her undercover operation, hired two Memphis private detectives to, at first, do some surveillance work on her daughter's former boyfriend and his new girlfriend. Her early aim was to break them up. But, over the next three months, Cavner turned to more sinister approaches: harassing phone calls, anonymous notes, hiring a woman to try and break up the relationship.
On a trip to Memphis in August, she stepped up the harassment and the financial ante. Cavner wanted to have someone plant drugs on the male victim. Then, she suggested he should be roughed by breaking one of his arms or a drive by shooting to be blamed on gang members. But, when Cavner tried to get the PI's to install $5,000 dollar listening devices in the victim's homes, they went to the FBI.
When questioned, she at first denied any involvement. But, on Friday, with a guilty plea, Cavner was spared facing a 5 year sentence if convicted and instead agreed to probation. So, what now for the woman who was once named Missourian of the Year.
"She is very strong. She's resolved to continue her philanthropy which is very considerable. She donates thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to various charities," says Farese. "All I know is that the people that know her stand fully behind her and I certainly don't expect that to change."
In a written article this year, Cavner was quoted as saying her greatest pride in life was her daughter Maral. But, it was her own foolish pride that appeared to mean even more.