Welcome to Financial Advisor IQ
Follow

Former FA Accused of $250K Theft Picked Up at Logan

March 6, 2018

Authorities have intercepted a former financial advisor, who had allegedly bilked a client out of $250,000, as he flew into Boston’s Logan Airport from Mexico, New Hampshire Union Leader writes.

Last week customs authorities detained James Knee, who was then arrested by Massachusetts State Police and handed over to New Hampshire authorities, according to the paper. Knee allegedly took $250,000 through multiple transactions from the same client from September 2014 to August 2016 and used the money as his own instead of investing it for the client’s benefit, Union Leader writes.

When New Hampshire started its investigation, Knee allegedly moved to the Ukraine for several months and allegedly made statements that he did so to avoid extradition, New Hampshire Senior Attorney General James Boffetti said, according to the paper. He then flew to Mexico and in February came back to Concord, where he had formerly lived. He then returned to Mexico and flew into Logan Wednesday, according to Boffetti, Union Leader writes. Authorities ordered Knee to surrender his passport and not leave the state nor have contact with the client involved nor with witnesses, according to the paper. His probable cause hearing is scheduled for March 16, Union Leader writes.

The U.S. and the Ukraine do not have an extradition treaty but are signatories to the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, according to the website of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Knee’s lawyer tells the paper his client was aware of the charges against him when he opted to return to New Hampshire and that he is also under investigation by the Bureau of Securities Regulations in a case involving the same client. Knee denies the allegations, the lawyer tells Union Leader.

Knee has been in the industry since 1988 and has worked for 10 different firms since then, including Raymond James Financial Services, Ameriprise Financial Services and Voya Financial Advisors, where he worked for less than a year until he was fired in 2016 for failure to cooperate with an internal investigation concerning the receipt of a cash gift from a client, according to his BrokerCheck profile.

Knee says on his profile that he was cooperating with the review and did disclose the gift. In addition to the State of New Hampshire investigation, Knee has four customer disputes dating back to 2002, three of which were denied and one settled. He has not been registered with any firm since being discharged from Voya.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the New Hampshire Union Leader article cited in this story, click here.