The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the possible misconduct of former securities broker James Knee. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, James Knee has been the subject of customer disputes and a FINRA sanction.

James Knee was a New Hampshire based securities broker. He  worked in the securities industry for twenty-seven years. During his career, he was registered with ten different securities firms. He is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.

His Registrations

  • Hopper Soliday & Co. (1988-1989)
  • W.H. Newbold’s Son & Co. (1989)
  • Invest Financial Corporation (1989-1995)
  • Linsco/Private Ledger Corp. (1995-1998)
  • Raymond James Financial Services (1998-2005)
  • Cantella & Co. (2005-2006)
  • Cambridge Investment Research (2006-2009)
  • Investors Capital Corp. (2009-2012)
  • Ameriprise Financial Services (2012-2015)
  • Voya Financial Advisors (2015-2016)

The Allegations

  • In December 2015, a customer alleged that James Knee’s recommendation to purchase a royalty trust was unsuitable. This case was settled for $17,000.
  • In August 2016, James Knee was discharged from his position at Voya Financial Advisors. This was due to allegations that he failed to cooperate with an internal investigation conducted by the member firm into allegations that he received a cash gift from a customer.
  • In February 2017, a customer alleged that additional information had been added onto a document by James Knee after the customer had signed it. The final document was not an accurate representation of his financial goals. This case was settled for $23,749 in damages.
  • In May 2018, James Knee was sanctioned by FINRA. The findings in this matter state that he allegedly refused to appear for on-the-record testimony that FINRA had requested of him during an investigation into allegations that he misappropriated customer funds. Due to these allegations, he was barred from acting as a securities broker in any fashion.
  • Later in May 2018, an attorney on behalf of a customer alleged that James Knee deceptively led them to purchase certain annuity products. This case was settled for $82,290.

What are Annuities?

Annuities are investment vehicles that involve the individual paying scheduled premiums up until they retire. It is at this point that the investor begins receiving scheduled distributions that in turn act as the investor’s income during their retirement. A fixed annuity is pretty straight forward. The amount that the investor receives during their retirement is dependent on the amount they paid in premiums–plus interest. A variable annuity, on the other hand, is different. The premiums that investor pays leading up to their retirement is invested into the market. This amount that an individual receives during their retirement is dependent on how the invested funds performed.

The truth is that annuities are only suitable for certain kinds of investors. These products are incredibly illiquid as there are significant penalties for withdrawing funds during the annuity’s surrender period. This means that they should never be recommended to individuals who might eventually need to liquidate assets. Even individuals who believe they do not need this liquidity are usually always better off avoiding annuities. Often times, they are only recommended by securities brokers because of the large commissions they receive when doing so.

Oakes & Fosher Can Help

Many investors are unaware of the legal recourse available to them after losing money due to securities broker fraud and/or negligence. The truth is that investors who have lost money in this fashion may actually be entitled to damages. Oakes & Fosher dedicates its entire legal practice to helping investors across the nation. If you, or someone you know, have lost money investing with James Knee, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. Oakes & Fosher handles cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.