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CFP Board Censures Improper CFP® Certificant Conduct

May 29, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC, May 29, 2009 - Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) today announces that it has taken public action against the following individuals' rights to use the CFP® certification marks:

STATE NAME LOCATION DISCIPLINE
Illinois David W. Schlossberg East Dundee Suspension
Indiana Shawn Dunn Highland Revocation
Maryland Kathy J. Gordon Snow Hill Interim Suspension
  J.J. Jaso Marriottsville Revocation

Public disciplinary actions taken by CFP Board, in order of increasing severity, include letters of admonition, interim suspension, suspension, and permanent revocation. An interim suspension was issued to Kathy J. Gordon. A suspension of 1 year and 1 day was issued to David W. Schlossberg. Permanent revocations were issued to Shawn Dunn and J. J. Jaso. The basis for each decision can be found at www.CFP.net. 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 the Financial Planning Practice Standards, set 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 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.

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 the 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 59,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.

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CFP® - The Recognized Standard of Excellence for Personal Financial Planning

DISCIPLINARY ACTION REPORT

Suspension

ILLINOIS

David W. Schlossberg (East Dundee): In March 2009, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board suspended Mr. Schlossberg’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day following its investigation of two separate matters: 1) Mr. Schlossberg was accused of theft of services by a provider of continuing education courses (“Provider”); and 2) a bankruptcy trustee (“Trustee”) accused Mr. Schlossberg of the fraudulent transfer of a debtor’s real property from the debtor to Mr. Schlossberg in a civil proceeding stemming from a bankruptcy. In the first matter, according to Provider, Mr. Schlossberg attended the course with a colleague and asked to be billed at the event. Despite repeated assertions by Mr. Schlossberg that the course was paid for by credit card, Provider claimed to have never received payment from him. During its investigation, CFP Board requested that Mr. Schlossberg verify the credit card he used to pay for the courses. Mr. Schlossberg never submitted such verification to CFP Board. A week prior to the hearing, Mr. Schlossberg amended his Answer to admit that he had, in fact, failed to pay Provider for the course. In the second matter, Trustee claimed that within two years of the filing of the bankruptcy petition, the debtor transferred his interest in two properties to Mr. Schlossberg. According to Trustee, this was done with the intent to delay, hinder, and defraud creditors. A Bankruptcy Court granted judgment in favor of Trustee and against Mr. Schlossberg and found that the transfer of the debtor's interest in real property was fraudulent. Therefore, the transfer was voidable, and Trustee was entitled to recover from Mr. Schlossberg the sum of $281,357.54, which represented the value of the Debtor's interest in the three properties received by Mr. Schlossberg. The Commission found that Mr. Schlossberg’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 602, 606(a)(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(f) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Mr. Schlossberg’s suspension is effective from March 27, 2009 to March 28, 2010.

Interim Suspension

MARYLAND

Kathy J. Gordon (Snow Hill): In March 2009, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued Ms. Gordon an interim suspension of her right to use the CFP® certification marks. The Commission decided that Ms. Gordon failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, why her right to use the CFP® certification marks should not be suspended during the pendency of the investigation. CFP Board initiated the interim suspension proceedings following Ms. Gordon’s suspension by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and her Consent Order with the State of Maryland. Ms. Gordon posed an immediate threat to the public and her conduct impinged upon the stature and reputation of the marks due to the fact that she continued to represent herself as a CFP® certificant despite her failure to renew her certification in a timely manner. Failing to comply with all applicable renewal requirements is a violation of Rule 612 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Under the interim suspension order, Ms. Gordon’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation, and possible further disciplinary proceedings.

Revocations

INDIANA

Shawn Dunn (Highland): In March 2009, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Shawn Dunn’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This hearing followed an earlier action by the Commission in December 2008, when the Commission issued Mr. Dunn an interim suspension of his right to use the CFP® certification marks. CFP Board initiated the interim suspension proceeding following Mr. Dunn’s conviction of twelve felony counts of tax fraud conspiracy and three felony counts related to Mr. Dunn’s individual tax returns. The convictions followed an undercover investigation by Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) agents into a plan to market and sell sham foreign and domestic trusts that led to the federal indictment of Mr. Dunn and seven other defendants. Among the felony convictions, Mr. Dunn conspired to defraud the United States by impeding the IRS in the collection of tax revenue and conspired to aid and assist the preparation and filing of false returns on behalf of clients. After a hearing in February 2009, the Commission determined that Mr. Dunn’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 406, 606(a) and (b) and 607 of the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(c) of Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. The Commission identified no mitigating or aggravating factors. The Order of Revocation regarding Mr. Dunn’s use of the CFP® certification marks took effect April 9, 2009.

MARYLAND

J. J. Jaso (Marriottsville): In March 2009, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. J. J. Jaso’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This followed CFP Board’s investigation of a complaint filed against Mr. Jaso by a client. The client also filed a complaint with the Maryland Securities Division (“Maryland”). Maryland’s complaint concerned a promissory note Mr. Jaso sold to his client in 1995 that was a $100,000 investment in a movie project. In 2006, Mr. Jaso signed a Consent Order with Maryland. After a hearing, at which Mr. Jaso declined to appear, the Commission found that: 1) at the time of the investment, Mr. Jaso did not provide his client with any information as to how the client’s money was actually used. Mr. Jaso also did not provide any risk disclosure documents to his client and did not tell the client that the investment was an unregistered security; 2) Mr. Jaso failed to inform the client about his own civil suit and award (on which he was not able to collect) against the movie production company which had a poor financial history. After the investment in the movie project, Mr. Jaso provided his client with a portfolio appraisal showing the investment’s value at $133,000, when apparently Mr. Jaso thought the investment was probably worthless. Mr. Jaso also continued to charge the client a 1% fee on the investment he apparently believed to be worthless; 3) Mr. Jaso commingled client funds with his own personal funds by combining his own $100,000 investment with his client’s $100,000 investment in order to become a movie producer; 4) Mr. Jaso identified himself as a CFP® certificant to his client during a time in which Mr. Jaso had relinquished his use of the CFP® marks; 5) Mr. Jaso failed to provide his client with any research results on the financial stability of the movie production company prior to making the investment for the client; and 6) Mr. Jaso made a false statement to CFP Board when he informed CFP Board staff that he had prepared a written financial plan for his client when, according to the client, no financial plan was ever prepared. The Commission found that Mr. Jaso’s conduct violated Rules 102, 103(d), 201, 601, 606(a), 606(b), 607, 701 and 704 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(g) of the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Because Mr. Jaso failed to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint, pursuant to Article 7.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and the Commission issued an Order of Revocation.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
J. Barron Knight, Director of Professional Review
Phone: 202-379-2240
Email: jknight@CFPBoard.org

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.

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.
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