Judge: Financial adviser who stole from elderly showed 'pure unadulterated greed'

SEATTLE (AP) — A Bellingham tax and financial adviser convicted of stealing $255,000 from 26 elderly clients has been sentenced to 51 years in prison.

Jeffrey Knutsen, owner of Bellwether Wealth Management, was barred in 2005 from working with clients because he had embezzled from a client's account. But that didn't stop him.

U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes says Knutsen continued to set up accounts for his clients that allowed him full access to their funds.

Hayes says Knutsen told the clients he would charge them a fee to manage their accounts, but over time he caused the dealers to issue more than 200 checks for more than $250,000 without the clients' knowledge. He deposited the checks and used the money for his personal gain.

Federal judge James Robart says Knutsen's actions were a crime of "pure unadulterated greed."