The feds have given investors a fresh warning to use FINRA's BrokerCheck tool before turning assets over to a financial professional, following the sentencing of a rogue former broker on wire fraud charges.

This week, a U.S. district judge sentenced Jeffrey Knutsen of Bellingham, Wash., to more than four years in federal prison for a long-running embezzlement scheme through which he bilked investors out of more than a quarter-million dollars, withdrawing the money from their brokerage accounts and depositing the checks into his own account.

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