News & Events

MAXXCAT_START

Latest News

CFP Board Censures Improper CFP® Certificant Conduct

May 30, 2007

DENVER, May 30, 2007 - Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) today announced public disciplinary actions against the following individuals' rights to use the CFP® certification marks, effective immediately.

STATE NAME LOCATION DISCIPLINE
California Lawrence K. Bushey Ventura Suspension
Colorado Robert L. West Greenwood Village Revocation
Connecticut Joel M. Johnson Wethersfield Suspension
Georgia Randy R. Brunson Duluth Suspension
Idaho James Charles Stone Post Falls Revocation
Montana Michael W. Keffler Lolo Suspension
New York Peter J. Dawson, II Huntington Interim Suspension
  Jay J. Gianni Depew Revocation
  Michael D. Mathias Mt. Kisco Letter of Admonition
  Kevin J. White Hudson Revocation
North Carolina James W. Brophy Winston-Salem Suspension
Ohio Richard A. Daniels Chagrin Falls Permanent Relinquishment
  Samuel G. Morocco Canfield Permanent Relinquishment
Pennsylvania Phillip J.W. Miles Harrisburg Letter of Admonition
Tennessee Scott D. Patterson Memphis Permanent Relinquishment
Virginia Brandon J. Cook Reston Revocation
Wisconsin Donna M. Vogt Campbellsport Revocation

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 and permanent relinquishments, Brandon J. Cook, Richard A. Daniels, Jay J. Gianni, Samuel G. Morocco, Scott D. Patterson, James Charles Stone, Donna M. Vogt, Robert L. West and Kevin J. White no longer have the right to use the CFP® marks. The right of Michael W. Keffler to use the CFP® marks was suspended for 21 months, the rights of Lawrence K. Bushey and James W. Brophy to use the CFP® marks were suspended for one year and one day, the right of Joel M. Johnson to use the CFP® marks was suspended for three months, and the right of Randy R. Brunson to use the CFP® marks was suspended for 90 days. The right of Peter J. Dawson, II to use the CFP® marks was suspended on an interim basis during CFP Board’s investigation. CFP Board issued letters of admonition to Michael D. Mathias and Phillip J.W. Miles; they retain the right to use the CFP® marks.

The basis for each decision can be found in the report below. Consumers can check on a planner's disciplinary history and certification status with CFP Board on the Web site.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION REPORT
May 2007

Public Letters of Admonition

NEW YORK

Michael D. Mathias (Mt. Kisco): In April 2007, Mr. Mathias entered into a settlement agreement with CFP Board pursuant to which he consented to a finding that he could have been more diligent in attempting to persuade his clients to reallocate the sub-accounts in their respective variable annuities from equities to cash or its equivalent so as to alleviate the decrease in value in their variable annuity investments. As part of the settlement, CFP Board issued Mr. Mathias a letter of admonition.

PENNSYLVANIA

Phillip J.W. Miles (Harrisburg): In April 2007, CFP Board issued Mr. Miles a letter of admonition related to its investigation of a settlement he reached with his state’s securities commission. After a hearing, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) found that Mr. Miles entered into an Offer of Settlement with a state securities commission, wherein he agreed to accept numerous findings of fact and conclusions of law, including a finding that he engaged in dishonest or unethical practices in the securities business by failing to disclose or providing incomplete disclosure or misstating material facts in advertisements disseminated to the public, and by using advertising material in such a fashion as to be deceptive or misleading, for which he agreed to pay a $15,000 fine and $5,000 in investigative costs. The Commission also found that Mr. Miles failed to adequately disclose the Offer of Settlement on his CFP® certification renewal application.

Suspensions

CALIFORNIA

Lawrence K. Bushey (Ventura): In April 2007, CFP Board suspended Mr. Bushey’s right to use the CFP® marks for one year and one day after its investigation of an NASD arbitration. After a hearing, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) found that Mr. Bushey’s client, a Trust, filed an arbitration claim with NASD against Mr. Bushey and his broker/dealer generally alleging Mr. Bushey provided advice that was professionally negligent. The Trust sought damages of $750,000, and the parties settled the Trust’s claims for a total of $477,800. The Commission further found that contrary to federal laws requiring that IRS Form 706 be filed within nine months of an individual’s death and that appropriate taxes be paid at the time the relevant tax returns are filed, Mr. Bushey failed to get an extension to file Form 706 for the Trust upon the grantor’s death, causing the Trust to be assessed penalties and interest by the IRS. The Commission also imposed a requirement that Mr. Bushey complete 25 hours of continuing education on the topics of investment risk/diversification, California and/or U.S. tax law and ethics, in addition to the 30 hours normally required each two-year renewal period, prior to submitting any petition for reinstatement of CFP® certification. Mr. Bushey’s suspension is effective from April 27, 2007 to April 28, 2008.

CONNECTICUT

Joel M. Johnson (Wethersfield): In April 2007, CFP Board suspended Mr. Johnson’s right to use the CFP® marks for three months after its investigation of a consent agreement he entered into with a state insurance department. After a hearing, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) found that Mr. Johnson entered into a Consent Agreement and Stipulation with a state insurance department wherein, in exchange for withdrawal of the allegations against him, his firm and his employer, and without the state making any findings of fact or conclusions, he agreed to the revocation of all state insurance licenses issued to him. As part of the Consent Agreement and Stipulation, Mr. Johnson was not precluded from submitting an application for licenses in the state after the end of a six-month revocation period. The Commission also found that due to the consent agreement, Mr. Johnson’s broker/dealer terminated his employment. Mr. Johnson’s suspension is effective from April 27, 2007 to July 27, 2007.

GEORGIA

Randy R. Brunson (Duluth): In April 2007, CFP Board suspended Mr. Brunson’s right to use the CFP® marks for 90 days after its investigation of a consent order he entered into with a state securities commission. After a hearing, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) found that Mr. Brunson entered into a consent order with his state’s securities commission wherein he consented, without admitting or denying the allegations, to the entry of findings that he was named in two civil actions regarding his sale to clients of promissory notes issued by entities of which he was a control person and which were not registered with the securities commission. Pursuant to the consent order, Mr. Brunson was fined $15,000, prohibited from soliciting new clients as an investment advisor representative for 60 days and ordered to retake the Series 65 and 66 exams. The Commission also found that Mr. Brunson failed to notify CFP Board of his professional suspension within 10 days as required. The suspension of Mr. Brunson’s right to use the CFP® marks is effective from April 26, 2007 to July 24, 2007.

MONTANA

Michael W. Keffler (Lolo): In April 2007, CFP Board suspended Mr. Keffler’s right to use the CFP® marks for a period of 21 months and 19 days after its investigation of a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) he entered into with NASD. After a hearing, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) found that Mr. Keffler entered into an AWC with NASD wherein he consented, without admitting or denying the NASD’s allegations, to the entry of findings related to his attempt to possess unauthorized materials for use during a Series 53 examination. As part of the AWC, Mr. Keffler consented to pay a $5,000 fine and accept a two-year suspension from association with any NASD member in any capacity. The suspension of Mr. Keffler’s right to use the CFP® marks is effective from April 27, 2007 to January 15, 2009, when his NASD suspension ends.

NEW YORK

Peter J. Dawson, II (Huntington): In April 2007, CFP Board issued an Order of Interim Suspension to Mr. Dawson after he failed to respond to CFP Board’s Order to Show Cause why his right to use the CFP® marks should not be placed on interim suspension pending CFP Board’s investigation of his arrest on numerous felony counts of grand larceny and scheming to defraud related to his alleged operation of a Ponzi scheme. Accordingly, Mr. Dawson’s right to use the CFP® marks is suspended until further notice.

NORTH CAROLINA

James W. Brophy (Winston-Salem): In April 2007, CFP Board suspended Mr. Brophy’s right to use the CFP® marks for one year and one day after its investigation of his Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with NASD. After a hearing, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) found that Mr. Brophy entered into an AWC with NASD wherein he consented, without admitting or denying the allegations, to the entry of findings that 1) he recommended that a client withdraw the bulk of funds held in a fee-based account at his member firm so the client could purchase a variable annuity that would purportedly reduce the annual expenses and management fees paid by the client, 2) the recommendation ignored the client’s investment objective of liquidity and did not offer significant savings, and 3) the client would have been forced to incur penalties for early liquidation of funds needed to satisfy the yearly premium payment for a variable universal life policy. Pursuant to the AWC, Mr. Brophy was suspended from association with any NASD member in any capacity for 15 business days. The suspension of Mr. Brophy’s right to use the CFP® marks is effective from April 26, 2007 to April 27, 2008.

Revocations/Permanent Relinquishments

COLORADO

Robert L. West (Greenwood Village): In May 2007, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. West’s right to use the CFP® marks after he failed to respond to CFP Board’s complaint investigating 1) the revocation of his state investment advisor representative license due to his sale of allegedly illegal trust investments to two clients and 2) his federal indictment on five felony counts of aiding in filing a false tax return and one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Because Mr. West failed to respond to CFP Board’s complaint, the allegations in the complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.

IDAHO

James Charles Stone (Post Falls): In April 2007, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Stone’s right to use the CFP® marks after its investigation of his felony conviction. After a hearing, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) found that Mr. Stone pleaded guilty to knowingly making a false statement and knowingly concealing and failing to disclose a fact that was required to be disclosed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The Commission also found that Mr. Stone pleaded guilty to providing the auditor of a pension plan a check that was falsified to read $46,500 instead of the actual amount of $6,500. As a result of his guilty pleas, Mr. Stone was sentenced to 36 months in prison.

NEW YORK

Jay J. Gianni (Depew): In April 2007, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Gianni’s right to use the CFP® marks after he failed to respond to CFP Board’s complaint investigating a consent judgment with a state court and a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with NASD related to his participation in private securities transactions without notice to or approval from his firm. Because Mr. Gianni failed to respond to CFP Board’s complaint, the allegations in the complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.

Kevin J. White (Hudson): In May 2007, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. White’s right to use the CFP® marks after he failed to respond to CFP Board’s complaint investigating several matters, including a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with NASD wherein he consented, without admitting or denying the allegations, to the entry of findings that 1) he participated in private securities transactions without providing prior written notice to or obtaining prior written approval from his employer member firm, 2) he sold approximately $339,000 of viatical contracts to five customers and earned commissions of approximately $32,000 from the sale of the viatical contracts. As part of the AWC, Mr. White agreed to accept a six-month suspension from association with any NASD member in any capacity, pay a $5,000 fine and disgorge $32,000 in commissions. Because Mr. White failed to respond to CFP Board’s complaint, the allegations in the complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.

OHIO

Richard A. Daniels (Chagrin Falls): In March 2007, Mr. Daniels entered into a settlement agreement with CFP Board pursuant to which he consented to a finding that he pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud related to his sale to clients of promissory notes that were not registered as securities as required, for which he was sentenced to 82 months incarceration with restitution to be determined. As part of the settlement, Mr. Daniels agreed to permanently relinquish his right to use the CFP® marks.

Samuel G. Morocco (Canfield): In March 2007, Mr. Morocco entered into a settlement agreement with CFP Board pursuant to which he consented to a finding that he entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with NASD wherein he consented to findings that he participated in the sale of promissory notes without written approval from his member firm. As part of the AWC, Mr. Morocco was suspended for nine months, fined $5,000 and ordered to disgorge $30,000 in commissions. As part of the settlement, Mr. Morocco agreed to permanently relinquish his right to use the CFP® marks.

TENNESSEE

Scott D. Patterson (Memphis): In March 2007, CFP Board entered into a settlement agreement with Mr. Patterson pursuant to which he consented to a finding that he agreed to be barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity and, without admitting or denying the allegations against him, agreed to an entry of findings that he forged a customer’s signature on documents necessary to effect the disbursement from a trust account and to effect the switch of the proceeds from one annuity to another. As part of the settlement offer, Mr. Patterson agreed to permanently relinquish his right to use the CFP® marks.

VIRGINIA

Brandon J. Cook (Reston): In April 2007, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Cook’s right to use the CFP® marks after he failed to respond to CFP Board’s complaint investigating a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC) with NASD, wherein he consented, without admitting or denying the allegations, to the entry of findings that 1) he caused checks to be issued from a client’s securities account to the client, 2) he forged the client’s endorsement on the checks or caused the client’s endorsement to be forged on them, 3) he negotiated the checks and caused the funds to be wired out of the client’s account to an account he controlled at another institution, and 4) he used the funds for his own benefit, all without the client’s knowledge or authorization. As part of the AWC, Mr. Cook also consented to the entry of findings that he failed to respond to NASD’s requests to provide information and appear for testimony. As a result of the AWC, Mr. Cook was barred from association with any NASD member in any capacity. Because Mr. Cook failed to respond to CFP Board’s complaint, the allegations in the complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.

WISCONSIN

Donna M. Vogt (Campbellsport): In April 2007, CFP Board permanently revoked Ms. Vogt's right to use the CFP® marks after its investigation of a consent agreement with a state securities department. After a hearing, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) found that 1) Ms. Vogt's state’s securities agent license was revoked as a result of allegations that all the new account forms she submitted for clients listed identical goals and risk tolerances, regardless of what the individual clients told her about their goals and risk tolerance, 2) she made unsuitable securities recommendations to her customers, 3) she engaged in dishonest and unethical business practices, 4) she failed to notify CFP Board of her professional bar within 10 days as required, and 5) she entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with NASD wherein she consented, without admitting or denying the allegations, to the entry of findings that she failed to make reasonable efforts to assess the financial situation, needs and investment objectives of each customer and instead treated the majority of her customers in unison, recommended and effected transactions that were unsuitable for her customers, and recommended to some customers that they obtain home equity loans and use the proceeds to purchase securities without considering whether such recommendations were appropriate for the customers in light of their financial situation and needs. As part of the AWC, Ms. Vogt consented to accept a bar from association with any NASD member in any capacity.

The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. is to help people benefit from competent, professional and ethical financial planning. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) 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 54,500 individuals to use these marks in the United States. 

# # #
CFP® - Financial Planning's Highest Certification Standard

Speaker's Bureau
CFP Board’s leadership and representatives are available for interviews and speaking engagements on personal finance, the financial planning profession, CFP Board and the CFP® designation.

Upcoming Events

Did You Know?

Among clients who work with an advisor, 87% of those working with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared with 72% of those who work with an advisor without certification.
Anyone can call himself a “financial planner.” Only professionals who meet CFP Board’s rigorous standards can call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.
The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings and investments than those without a plan.
Let's Make A Plan
Don't address your finances individually. Pull your finances together with the help of a CFP® professional.