According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) advisor James Knee (Knee), formerly associated with Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. (Voya) and Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise) in Concord, New Hampshire was terminated for cause by Voya concerning allegations that Knee failed to cooperate in an internal investigation relating to potential receipt by the representative of a cash gift from a customer. Thereafter, in May 2018, FINRA barred him from the financial industry after Knee consented to the sanction due to his refusal to appear for testimony requested by FINRA in connection with their investigation into allegations that he misappropriated customer funds.
At the same time a Merrimack County grand jury returned 11 indictments against Knee relating to conduct between 2014 and 2017. Knee was charged with theft by misapplication, theft by deception, financial exploitation of the elderly, and investment adviser fraud. He allegedly stole over $490,397 for personal expenses. In addition, Knee was also indicted on perjury charges in connection with statements he made to the Bureau of Securities Regulation while it was investigating him in 2016 and witness-tampering.
Knee disclosed a number of outside business activities including Sterling Financial Services, LLC which appears to be his d/b/a through which Knee operated. In addition, Knee also disclosed involvement with Opulencia Dressage, certain real estate rental properties, and an insurance agency.