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Certification Updates

CFP Board Censures Improper CFP® Certificant Conduct

Apr 19, 2004
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. today announced public disciplinary actions against the following individuals' rights to use the CFP® certification marks, effective immediately.
STATE NAME LOCATION DISCIPLINE
Florida W. Steve Brown Jacksonville Suspension
  William F. Perkins Tarpon Springs Letter of Admonition
  C. Douglas Sedlak Boca Raton Revocation
  Michael J. Wells Winter Park Revocation
  Mark N. Wright Sarasota Suspension
New Hampshire George W. Perkins II Nashua Suspension
North Carolina Gerald T. Summerlin Jr. Reidsville Letter of Admonition
Ohio Dennis L. Burgess Covington Suspension
Oregon Damon L. Mayer Salem Letter of Admonition

Public disciplinary actions taken by CFP Board, in order of decreasing severity, include permanent revocation, suspension and letters of admonition.
Under terms of the revocations, Douglas Sedlak and Michael Wells no longer have the right to use the CFP® marks. W. Steven Brown's, Dennis L. Burgess', George Perkins' and Mark Wright's right to use the CFP marks was suspended for one year and one day. CFP Board issued Damon Mayer, William Perkins and George Summerlin letters of admonition.

These disciplinary actions were taken by the Board of Professional Review, a board of CFP® certificants that interprets and applies CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Financial Planning Practice Standards as well as investigates, deliberates and takes appropriate action with respect to alleged violations of the Code of Ethics or Practice Standards by CFP® certificants. The basis for each decision can be found in the attached report. Consumers can check on a planner's disciplinary history and certification status with CFP Board at www.CFP.net/search.

CFP Board, a nonprofit regulatory organization, fosters professional standards in personal financial planning so that the public values, has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP® (with flame logo). These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 43,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States. For more about CFP Board, visit www.CFP.net.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION REPORT
April 2004

Revocations of Right to Use CFP® Certification Marks

FLORIDA

C. Douglas Sedlak (Boca Raton): In January 2004, CFP Board affirmed the order of revocation that permanently revoked Mr. Sedlak's right to use the CFP marks. The order of revocation had been issued to Mr. Sedlak after he failed to respond in a timely manner to CFP Board's March 2003 complaint investigating a customer complaint alleging that Mr. Sedlak recommended and implemented unsuitable investments, and investigating Mr. Sedlak's repeated failure to respond or respond adequately to CFP Board's requests.

Michael J. Wells (Winter Park): In September 2003, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Wells' right to use the CFP marks after he failed to timely respond to CFP Board's complaint alleging that he did not adequately explain options trading to his client and that he failed to properly inform another client of the risks associated with the investments he recommended and sold to the client. CFP Board alleged that Mr. Wells had entered into a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent (AWC) with the NASD, wherein he consented to findings that he attempted to settle a verbal complaint made by a public customer without providing notice to his member firm in violation of NASD rules. It was further alleged that Mr. Wells agreed to a fine of $2,500 and failed to disclose that he had entered into the AWC on the appropriate renewal form. Because Mr. Wells failed to timely respond to CFP Board's complaint, the allegations contained in the complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.

Suspensions

FLORIDA

W. Steve Brown (Jacksonville): In November 2003, CFP Board suspended Mr. Brown's right to use the CFP marks for one year and one day after its investigation of a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent (AWC) entered into by Mr. Brown, as well as a consent agreement with the State of Florida Division of Securities. Pursuant to the AWC, Mr. Brown consented to findings that he engaged in selling away and agreed to an eight-month suspension and disgorgement of $47,520 in commissions in partial restitution. Pursuant to the State of Florida consent agreement, Mr. Brown consented to findings that he engaged in selling away and agreed to accept a $10,000 fine and not to apply for registration in the State of Florida for 10 years. Mr. Brown also failed to notify CFP Board of his professional suspension within 10 calendar days, as required.

Mark N. Wright (Sarasota): In November 2003, CFP Board suspended Mr. Wright's right to use the CFP marks for one year and one day after its investigation of a grievance filed against him with CFP Board and the Florida investor protection agency, and an NASD arbitration related to the same circumstances. The claimant alleged breaches of contract and fiduciary duty, selling away, fraud and negligence related to the asset management agreement between the client and Mr. Wright, and unsuitability and failure to perform due diligence with respect to unregistered collateralized notes he recommended and sold to the client that were later determined to be part of a Ponzi scheme. The NASD awarded the claimant $152,811, of which the respondent paid $123,324.14. CFP Board found that Mr. Wright made unsuitable recommendations and sold unregistered securities. It also determined that Mr. Wright's disrespect of CFP Board and its disciplinary process was an aggravating factor in its decision.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

George W. Perkins II (Nashua): In November 2003, CFP Board suspended Mr. Perkins' right to use the CFP marks for one year and one day after its investigation of an NASD inquiry into a civil suit filed by a client alleging unsuitability and failure to conduct adequate due diligence regarding guaranteed interest contracts. As a result of the inquiry, Mr. Perkins entered into a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent (AWC) with the NASD, wherein he consented to findings that he engaged in selling away. Mr. Perkins agreed to a censure and a 30-day suspension. In addition, Mr. Perkins entered into a consent agreement with the New Hampshire State Securities Bureau, wherein he agreed to findings that he engaged in selling away and agreed to pay a $5,000 fine and to cease and desist from further violations. CFP Board also discovered that Mr. Perkins failed to disclose an NASD arbitration on the appropriate renewal form. After a hearing was conducted, CFP Board found, in addition to the above-mentioned matters, that Mr. Perkins failed to disclose his professional suspension within 10 days as required, and that Mr. Perkins represented to his broker/dealer that he was a CFP® certificant when he was not authorized to use the CFP marks.

OHIO

Dennis L. Burgess (Covington): In November 2003, CFP Board suspended Mr. Burgess' right to use the CFP marks for one year and one day after Mr. Burgess disclosed to CFP Board that he had entered into a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent (AWC) with the NASD. Pursuant to the AWC, Mr. Burgess consented to findings that he engaged in selling away, in violation of NASD rules. Mr. Burgess agreed to a 60-day suspension, a $5,000 fine and disgorgement of commissions. After a hearing was conducted, CFP Board found that Mr. Burgess admitted that he engaged in selling away and that he had not disclosed his professional suspension within 10 days, as required.

Public Letters of Admonition

FLORIDA

William F. Perkins (Tarpon Springs): In November 2003, CFP Board issued Mr. Perkins a public letter of admonition after its investigation of two NASD arbitration proceedings in which the claimants were awarded damages. The claimants alleged that Mr. Perkins sold them unsuitable high-risk investments. After a hearing was conducted, CFP Board found that Mr. Perkins made misrepresentations to his clients about the risks involved in the investments he sold them and that an investment he sold to one of his clients was inappropriate for the client's financial situation.

NORTH CAROLINA

Gerald T. Summerlin Jr. (Reidsville): In November 2003, CFP Board issued Mr. Summerlin a public letter of admonition following its investigation of an NASD arbitration proceeding generally alleging that Mr. Summerlin misrepresented, recommended and sold a client unsuitable investments and that Mr. Summerlin recommended unsuitable levels of withdrawals from the client's IRA account. After a hearing was conducted, CFP Board found that Mr. Summerlin failed to modify the client's stated risk tolerance and adjust the recommended levels of withdrawals the client was making from his accounts when the client's financial situation changed, and that he allowed the client's accounts to become over-concentrated in one or two funds.

OREGON

Damon L. Mayer (Salem): In November 2003, CFP Board issued Mr. Mayer a public letter of admonition after a hearing was conducted concerning Mr. Mayer's June 2002 felony convictions for assault, driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to perform the duties of a driver.

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