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CFP Board Censures Improper CFP® Certificant Conduct

Jul 01, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC, July 1, 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
California Jeffrey A. Forrest San Obispo Interim Suspension
New York Morris Armstrong Yorktown Heights Interim Suspension
Ohio Julie M. Jarvis Upper Arlington Interim Suspension

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 Morris Armstrong, Jeffrey A. Forrest and Julie M. Jarvis. The basis for each decision can be found below.

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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DISCIPLINARY ACTION REPORT

Interim Suspensions

CALIFORNIA

Jeffrey A. Forrest (San Obispo): In June 2009, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued Mr. Forrest an interim suspension of his right to use the CFP® certification marks. CFP Board initiated the interim suspension proceeding following notification that a U.S. District Court had issued a permanent injunction against Mr. Forrest and his company, enjoining them from violating federal securities laws. The U.S. District Court also ordered the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to institute an administrative proceeding against Mr. Forrest in connection with a complaint the SEC filed against Mr. Forrest. The court’s order incorporates the SEC complaint, which alleges that Mr. Forrest and his company made misrepresentations to his clients, failed to disclose conflicts of interest, and obtained advisory fees based on the misrepresentations and failure to disclose. According to the SEC complaint, Mr. Forrest allegedly: (1) advised his clients that their investment principal in a hedge fund would be protected from loss; (2) misrepresented that the hedge fund investments were generating 3% monthly returns through a purportedly innovative options trading method; and (3) failed to disclose that his company had a significant conflict of interest with the firm issuing the investment, namely that the companies had an agreement where Mr. Forrest’s firm would receive a portion of the performance fee generated from the assets invested in the hedge fund. The Commission determined that Mr. Forrest posed an immediate threat to the public and that his conduct impinged upon the stature and reputation of the CFP® certification marks. Mr. Forrest did not appear at the interim suspension proceeding. Under the interim suspension order, Mr. Forrest’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending the outcome of CFP Board’s completed investigation.

NEW YORK

Morris Armstrong (Yorktown Heights): In May 2009, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued Mr. Armstrong an interim suspension of his right to use the CFP® certification marks. CFP Board initiated the interim suspension proceeding following Mr. Armstrong’s guilty plea to the second-degree criminal misdemeanor of Attempt to Disseminate Indecent Materials to a Minor. Mr. Armstrong failed to report the criminal conviction to CFP Board in writing within 10 calendar days after the date he was notified of the conviction, as required by Article 12.2 of the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. The Commission determined that Mr. Armstrong posed an immediate threat to the public, that his conduct impinged upon the stature and reputation of the marks, and that he failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence why his right to use the CFP® certification marks should not be suspended pending the outcome of CFP Board’s completed investigation. Under the interim suspension order, Mr. Armstrong’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation.

OHIO

Julie M. Jarvis (Upper Arlington): In May 2009, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued Ms. Jarvis an interim suspension of her right to use the CFP® certification marks. CFP Board initiated the interim suspension proceeding following notification that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) was investigating Ms. Jarvis, and that the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) had filed a complaint against Ms. Jarvis in federal district court. The FBI investigation and the SEC complaint related to allegations that Ms. Jarvis fraudulently misappropriated at least $2.3 million from two elderly clients. The Commission determined that Ms. Jarvis posed an immediate threat to the public and that her conduct impinged upon the stature and reputation of the CFP® certification marks. Ms. Jarvis failed to appear at the interim suspension proceeding. Under the interim suspension order, Ms. Jarvis’ right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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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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