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Certification Updates

CFP Board Censures Improper CFP® Professional Conduct

Sep 27, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC, September 27, 2010 — Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. announces public disciplinary actions against the following individuals' right to use the CFP® certification marks, effective immediately.

Public disciplinary actions taken by CFP Board, in order of increasing severity, include letters of admonition, suspensions and permanent revocations. The basis for each decision can be found in a Disciplinary Action Report below and on CFP Board's Web site. Consumers may check on any planner's disciplinary history and certification status with CFP Board at www.CFP.net/search.

CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct, which includes the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards, sets forth the ethical standards for financial planners who hold the CFP® certification. CFP Board enforces its ethical standards by investigating incidents of alleged unethical behavior, and following the procedures established in CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. In cases where violations are found, CFP Board may impose discipline ranging from a private censure or public letter of admonition to the suspension or revocation of the right to use the CFP® marks. The Disciplinary Rules and Procedures set forth a fair process for investigating matters and imposing discipline where necessary.

CFP Board's enforcement process is a critical consumer protection. CFP® practitioners agree to abide by CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct, which sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers. CFP® practitioners agree to act fairly and diligently when providing clients with financial planning advice and services, putting the clients' interests first.

STATE NAME LOCATION DISCIPLINE
California David Larkin George Carlsbad Suspension
California Melissa Pearce Laguna Niguel Suspension
California Max J. Safdie Mill Valley Suspension
California Jeffrey A. Forrest San Luis Obispo Revocation
California Raoul G. Sevelius Chico Revocation
Florida Mario J. Ferrari Boca Raton Suspension
Florida Marcus R. Michles Winter Park Revocation
Michigan John P. Stelman Lake Orion Letter of Admonition
New Jersey Cynthia A. Murphy Montclair Revocation
Ohio Julie M. Jarvis Upper Arlington Revocation
South Carolina Oren E. Sullivan Rock Hill Revocation
Texas David Disraeli Cedar Park Revocation
Wisconsin Jeffrey L. Elverman Genoa City Suspension

Disciplinary Action Reports

LETTER OF ADMONITION

MICHIGAN

John P. Stelman (Lake Orion): In June 2010, following a hearing by CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission ("Commission"), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Stelman. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of Mr. Stelman's 2009 Chapter 13 bankruptcy. According to Mr. Stelman, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing was the only solution available to him to address debt he accrued from a 2006 divorce. The Commission determined that by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2009, Mr. Stelman displayed an inability to manage his personal finances and thus engaged in conduct which reflects adversely on his integrity and fitness as a certificant, upon the CFP® certification marks, and upon the profession. Therefore, the Commission determined that Mr. Stelman's conduct violated Rule 6.5 of CFP Board's Rules of Conduct and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Stelman with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.

SUSPENSIONS

CALIFORNIA

David Larkin George (Carlsbad): In June 2010, following a hearing by CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission ("Commission"), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. George's right to use the CFP® certification marks for three months. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of a 2009 cautionary letter from the State of California Department of Insurance regarding Mr. George's violation of California Insurance Code § 790.035 for affixing signatures on documents of at least three clients and purchasing two financial plans for personal friends. The Commission determined that Mr. George violated Rules 102, 201, 406, 606(a), 606(b) and 607 of CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures ("Disciplinary Rules"). Accordingly, the Commission suspended Mr. George's right to use the CFP® certification marks, pursuant to Article 4.5 of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules. Mr. George's suspension is effective from August 23, 2010 to November 24, 2010.

Melissa Pearce (Laguna Niguel): In June 2010, following a hearing by CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission ("Commission"), CFP Board approved Ms. Pearce's Application for Reinstatement of CFP® Certification ("Reinstatement Application") and issued an order suspending her right to use the CFP® certification marks until March 5, 2014. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of Ms. Pearce's 2009 Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Commission determined that Ms. Pearce engaged in conduct which reflects adversely on her integrity and fitness as a CFP® certificant, upon the CFP® certification marks and upon the profession. In support of its decision, the Commission cited: 1) the Chapter 7 bankruptcy reflected an inability to manage her personal finances; and 2) Ms. Pearce's financial circumstances were of her own doing. Accordingly, the Commission suspended Ms. Pearce's right to use the CFP® certification marks, pursuant to Article 4.5 of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Ms. Pearce's suspension is effective from August 23, 2010 to March 5, 2014.

Max J. Safdie (Mill Valley): In June 2010, CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Safdie's right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of Mr. Safdie's FINRA suspension for misrepresenting the financial qualifications of a family member to a loan officer. The Commission determined that Mr. Safdie's conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 406, 606(a), 606(b) and 607 of CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a), 3(d), and 3(e) of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures ("Disciplinary Rules"). Accordingly, the Commission suspended Mr. Safdie's right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day, pursuant to Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules. Mr. Safdie's suspension by CFP Board is effective from August 10, 2010 to August 11, 2011.

FLORIDA

Mario J. Ferrari (Boca Raton): In June 2010, following a hearing by CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission ("Commission"), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Ferrari's right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of: 1) five customer arbitrations alleging unsuitability, unauthorized trading, misrepresentation, churning, fraud and violation of both state and federal securities laws; 2) allegations that Mr. Ferrari falsified customer account documents; 3) Mr. Ferrari's resignation from his firm due to "unacceptable business practices"; and 4) Mr. Ferrari's failure to disclose to his clients that he does not provide financial planning services. The Commission determined that Mr. Ferrari's conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 2.1, 406, 606(a), 606(b) and 607 of CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rules of Conduct, and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures ("Disciplinary Rules"). Accordingly, the Commission suspended Mr. Ferrari's right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day, pursuant to Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules. Mr. Ferrari's suspension by CFP Board is effective from August 23, 2010 to August 24, 2011.

WISCONSIN

Jeffrey L. Elverman (Genoa City): In June 2010, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Stephens’ right to use the CFP® certification marks for three years. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Elverman’s suspension from the practice of law by the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation. According to a Wisconsin Supreme Court Order, Mr. Elverman violated a provision of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules when he failed to report trustee fees gained from his legal practice as income on his 2002 and 2003 tax returns. The Commission determined that Mr. Elverman’s conduct, his failure to disclose the investigation to CFP Board and his failure to timely disclose his suspension to CFP Board violated Rules 102, 606(a), 606(b) and 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(e) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Accordingly, the Commission suspended Mr. Elverman’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for three years, pursuant to Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules. Mr. Elverman’s suspension is effective from August 23, 2010 to August 24, 2013.

REVOCATIONS

CALIFORNIA

Jeffrey A. Forrest (San Luis Obispo): In June 2010, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Forrest's right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of allegations that Mr. Forrest was barred from investment advisor registration by the SEC. Mr. Forrest failed to file an Answer to CFP Board's Complaint within 20 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 7.3 of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules. Accordingly, pursuant to Article 7.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Order of Revocation.

Raoul G. Sevelius (Chico): In June 2010, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Sevelius's right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of allegations that: 1) Mr. Sevelius was found guilty of misdemeanor battery; and 2) Mr. Sevelius' insurance licenses were revoked by the State of California. Mr. Sevelius failed to file an Answer to CFP Board's Complaint within 20 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 7.3 of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules. Accordingly, pursuant to Article 7.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Order of Revocation.

FLORIDA

Marcus R. Michles (Winter Park): In June 2010, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Michles' right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of allegations that Mr. Michles received a Letter of Admonition from the NYSE for violating NYSE Rule 476(a)(6), which requires all registered persons to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. Mr. Michles failed to file an Answer to CFP Board's Complaint within 20 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 7.3 of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules. Accordingly, pursuant to Article 7.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Order of Revocation.

NEW JERSEY

Cynthia A. Murphy (Montclair): In August 2010, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Ms. Murphy's right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of allegations that Ms. Murphy was living in the United States under a pseudonym (her actual name is Lydia Guryev) and that she was a foreign agent for the Russian Federation. In its Complaint, CFP Board alleged that Ms. Murphy: 1) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government in the United States; and 2) misrepresented herself as a United States citizen. Ms. Murphy failed to file an Answer to CFP Board's Complaint within 20 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 7.3 of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures ("Disciplinary Rules"). Accordingly, pursuant to Article 7.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation.

OHIO

Julie M. Jarvis (Upper Arlington): In June 2010, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Ms. Jarvis' right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of allegations that: 1) Ms. Jarvis' securities license was first suspended, then revoked by the Ohio Securities Division in 2009; 2) Ms. Jarvis' securities registration was permanently barred by the SEC in January 2010; and 3) Ms. Jarvis was convicted of mail fraud in U.S. District Court. Ms. Jarvis failed to file an Answer to CFP Board's Complaint within 20 days of the date of service, as required by Article 7.3 of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules. Accordingly, pursuant to Article 7.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Order of Revocation.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Oren E. Sullivan (Rock Hill): In June 2010, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Sullivan's right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of allegations that Mr. Sullivan: 1) was permanently barred from association with any FINRA member; and 2) pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud. Mr. Sullivan failed to file an Answer to CFP Board's Complaint within 20 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 7.3 of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures ("Disciplinary Rules"). Accordingly, pursuant to Article 7.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Order of Revocation.

TEXAS

David Disraeli (Cedar Park): In August 2010, following a review by CFP Board's Appeals Committee, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Disraeli's right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board's investigation of allegations that Mr. Disraeli was barred from association with any broker, dealer or investment adviser by the SEC. Mr. Disraeli failed to file an Answer to CFP Board's Complaint within 20 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 7.3 of CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures ("Disciplinary Rules"). Accordingly, pursuant to Article 7.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued Mr. Disraeli an Administrative Order of Revocation. Mr. Disraeli appealed the matter, and CFP Board's Appeals Committee affirmed the Administrative Order of Revocation.

ABOUT CFP BOARD: The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board's mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® certificants and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 61,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States.

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CONTACT:
Dan Drummond, Director of Public Relations
P: 202-379-2252
M: 202-550-4372
E: ddrummond@CFPBoard.org
Twitter: @CFPBoardmedia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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