Barred Advisor Performed Investment Fraud
Jeffrey M. Knutsen, a former registered financial advisor who had been barred from the financial industry in 2005, was arrested Wednesday for continuing to act as an advisor and defrauding elderly clients of their money.
Knutsen owned and operated Bellwether Wealth Management, and stole $260,000 from 17 clients’ accounts. When he was barred by FINRA in 2005, Knutsen did not tell his clients that he had been barred; instead, he told them that he was moving to a different online brokerage to reduce fees they would have to pay. He took advantage of the fact that the elderly generally are less familiar with online trading and computer access. He then accounts to set up online accounts in his clients’ names and retained full access and control over the accounts.
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