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CFP Board Censures Improper CFP® Professional Conduct

Jun 07, 2012

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. announces public disciplinary actions against the following individuals’ right to use the CFP® certification marks, effective immediately or on the date noted in each case. This release contains disciplinary actions relating to 24 CFP® professionals. The 25 disciplinary actions are comprised of 14 revocations, 6 suspensions and 5 letters of admonition.

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. The public may check on an individual’s disciplinary history and certification status with CFP Board at www.CFP.net/verify.

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® professionals agree to abide by CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, which sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers. CFP® professionals agree to act fairly and diligently when providing clients with financial planning advice and services, putting the clients’ interests first.

These actions result from final decisions of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission. The Commission meets three times a year and reviews all cases on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the details specific to an individual case. While CFP Board has attempted to capture the details relevant to each decision, the summary nature of these releases may omit certain details affecting the decision. Accordingly, the decisions and/or rationale described in the releases may not apply to other cases reviewed by the Commission or reflect the Commission’s future interpretation or application of the Standards.


STATE NAME LOCATION DISCIPLINE
Arizona David Dick, CFP® Tempe Letter of Admonition
Arizona David Lesnick Goodyear Revocation
California David A. Dickson, CFP® Orangevale Letter of Admonition
California Warren V. Einolander Lompoc Revocation
California Micheal Ono La Mirada Suspension
California Richard M. Yacko San Diego Revocation
California Russell Wayne Young Irvine Revocation
Colorado Gordon M. Budreau Denver Revocation
Florida Bruce Pivar Tampa Revocation
Kansas Larry Lee Crawford North Newton Revocation
Maryland Christopher T. Holcomb, CFP® Severn Letter of Admonition
Massachusetts Philip C. McMorrow Methuen Suspension
Massachusetts William B. Smith Grafton Revocation
Nebraska Ken J. Koubsky, CFP® Omaha Letter of Admonition
New Jersey Barbara L. Steinberg Livingston Revocation
New Jersey Daniel J. Trolaro East Hanover Revocation
New Jersey Sandra M. Venetis Branchburg Revocation
North Carolina R. Michael Slaughter Charlotte Suspension
North Carolina Frank S. Sparger Norwood Suspension
Ohio Jeffrey G. Best Westerville Suspension
Pennsylvania Timothy Higgins, CFP® Harrisburg Letter of Admonition
Tennessee Martha J. C. Hawk Blountville Revocation
Texas Matthew J. Anderson Austin Suspension
Utah David P. Soper Salt Lake City Revocation
Wisconsin James E. Putman Menasha Revocation

LETTERS OF ADMONITION

ARIZONA

David Dick, CFP® (Tempe): In March 2012, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Dick. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Dick’s: 1) 2007 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy; and 2) failure to provide documents requested by CFP Board staff. The Commission determined that Mr. Dick’s conduct violated Rule 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rule 6.1 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(f) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). In accordance with Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission admonished Mr. Dick with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.

CALIFORNIA

David A. Dickson, CFP® (Orangevale): In March 2012, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Dickson. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Dickson’s 2009 Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. The Commission determined that Mr. Dickson’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 (“Disciplinary Rules”). In accordance with Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission admonished Mr. Dickson with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.

MARYLAND

Christopher T. Holcomb, CFP® (Severn): In March 2012, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Holcomb and imposed additional continuing education coursework beyond the standard continuing education requirements. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. Holcomb signed a client’s initials to an investment switch letter, without authorization, in violation of his firm’s policy against alteration of a signed document. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”, formerly known as the National Association of Securities Dealers or “NASD”) investigated the alteration of a signed document and issued a Cautionary Action Letter to Mr. Holcomb regarding this misconduct in which it cautioned Mr. Holcomb regarding deficiencies in his compliance with FINRA Rule 2010 and NASD Rule 3110(a). The Commission determined that Mr. Holcomb’s conduct violated Rules 4.3, 5.1 and 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 (“Disciplinary Rules”). In accordance with Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission admonished Mr. Holcomb with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.

NEBRASKA

Ken J. Koubsky, CFP® (Omaha): In March 2012, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Koubsky. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. Koubsky: 1) retained proprietary information when he terminated his employment with his former employer, in violation of his employment agreement; and 2) filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in 2011. The Commission determined that Mr. Koubsky’s conduct violated Rules 502, 606(b) and 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rule 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). In accordance with Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission admonished Mr. Koubsky with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.

PENNSYLVANIA

Timothy Higgins, CFP® (Harrisburg): In March 2012, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Higgins. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. Higgins violated National Association of Securities Dealers (“NASD”, now known as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. or “FINRA”) Rule 3030 and FINRA Rule 2010 by selling five equity indexed annuities to three investors outside of the scope of his employment and without providing his employer with prompt written notice of the transactions. The Commission determined that Mr. Higgins’s conduct violated Rules 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 6.1 and 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(d) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). In accordance with Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission admonished Mr. Higgins with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.

SUSPENSIONS

CALIFORNIA

Micheal Ono (La Mirada): In March 2012, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Ono’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for two years. The suspension followed CFP Board’s investigation of a 2007 civil suit filed by an elderly client. Following a hearing, CFP Board’s Commission found that Mr. Ono: 1) misrepresented that the Annuity Maximization Concept was appropriate and reasonably designed to meet his client’s needs and goals; 2) failed to disclose to his client that he received a commission due to his sale of a universal life insurance policy to her; 3) misrepresented his client’s assets in order to obtain the universal life insurance policy; 4) placed his interest ahead of his client’s by recommending a transaction that was inappropriate for the client but allowed Mr. Ono to gain financially; 5) failed to fully investigate his client’s heir’s tax liability by considering the state and federal inheritance tax exemptions and the cost basis of each individual annuity; and 6) failed to appropriately determine his client’s cash flow needs in relation to her potential long-term care needs. The Commission determined that Mr. Ono’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 202, 607, 701, 702 and 703 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Financial Planning Practice Standards 400-2 and 500-2, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(b) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). In accordance with Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission suspended Mr. Ono’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for two years. Mr. Ono’s suspension is effective from April 26, 2012 to April 26, 2014.

MASSACHUSETTS

Philip C. McMorrow (Methuen): In March 2012, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. McMorrow’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for six months. The suspension followed CFP Board’s investigation of a 2011 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) Suspension. The Commission determined that Mr. McMorrow: 1) failed to follow up with his request that a subordinate supply documentation supporting the subordinate’s valuation of his hedge fund; 2) failed to follow up with his request that the subordinate obtain an independent financial audit of the hedge fund; 3) failed to ensure that the hedge fund’s quarterly statements and newsletters were reviewed and approved; and 4) was suspended by FINRA from association with any FINRA member in any principal capacity for 10 business days. The Commission determined that Mr. McMorrow’s conduct violated Rules 201, 606(a), 606(b), 607 and 701 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”). In accordance with Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission suspended Mr. McMorrow’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for six months. Mr. McMorrow’s suspension is effective from March 30, 2012 to September 30, 2012.

NORTH CAROLINA

R. Michael Slaughter (Charlotte): In March 2012, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Appeals Committee, CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Slaughter’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for three months. CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”) found that Mr. Slaughter: 1) accepted a loan from a client; 2) failed to repay the loan according to the original terms of the promissory note; 3) failed to disclose the potential conflicts of interest and risks associated with the promissory note; 4) failed to disclose the potential conflicts of interest and risks associated with the client’s purchase of real estate on behalf of Mr. Slaughter; 5) violated his employer’s policy prohibiting the receipt of loans from a client by accepting the loan from his client; and 6) failed to determine whether the promissory note he executed with his client was appropriate for his client. As a result of its findings, the Commission determined that Mr. Slaughter’s conduct violated Rules 201, 406, 409, 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”). The Appeals Committee affirmed the Commission’s findings of fact and rule violations and, in accordance with Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules, imposed a three month suspension of Mr. Slaughter’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. Mr. Slaughter’s suspension is effective from April 6, 2012 to July 6, 2012.

Frank S. Sparger (Norwood): In March 2012, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Sparger’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day. The suspension followed CFP Board’s investigation of a 2011 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”, formerly known as the National Association of Securities Dealers or “NASD”) Suspension and 2008 internal review and termination. The Commission found that Mr. Sparger: 1) violated NASD Rule 2110 by signing customer names on three IRA distribution forms and two letters of authorization to transfer cash; 2) violated NASD Rule 2110 by executing unauthorized trades in three customer accounts without proper authorization or discretion; and 3) signed a FINRA Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent wherein he consented to a $25,000 fine and suspension from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for a period of three months and 10 business days. The Commission determined that Mr. Sparger’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 406, 606(a) and 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(d) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). In accordance with Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission suspended Mr. Sparger’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day. Mr. Sparger’s suspension is effective from March 9, 2012 to March 10, 2013.

OHIO

Jeffrey G. Best (Westerville): In March 2012, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Best’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for 14 days. The suspension followed CFP Board’s investigation of a 2011 Ohio Division of Securities Suspension. The Commission determined that Mr. Best: 1) failed to disclose to clients that he was selling unregistered securities, in violation of Ohio Revised Code 1707.44(G); 2) failed to disclose to clients that he would be compensated for the sale of securities, in violation of Ohio Revised Code 1707.44(G); 3) sold unregistered, nonexempt securities to 13 clients, in violation of Ohio Revised Code 1707.44(C)(1); 4) sold an unsuitable promissory note to his client; 5) failed to adhere to the principles of good business practice when he failed to execute a client’s sell orders in a timely manner; and 6) was suspended by the Ohio Division of Securities from acting as an investment advisor representative for 14 days. The Commission determined that Mr. Best’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 401(a), 606(a), 606(b), 607 and 701 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”). In accordance with Article 4.3 the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission suspended Mr. Best’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for 14 days. Mr. Best’s suspension was effective from March 7, 2012 to March 21, 2012.

TEXAS

Matthew J. Anderson (Austin): In March 2012, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Anderson’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for two years. The suspension followed CFP Board’s investigation of three Driving While Intoxicated misdemeanor convictions occurring over a period of eight years. The Commission determined that Mr. Anderson’s conduct violated Rule 607 CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rule 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(c) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). In accordance with Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission suspended Mr. Anderson’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for two years. Mr. Anderson’s suspension is effective from April 26, 2012 to April 26, 2014.

REVOCATIONS

ARIZONA

David Lesnick (Goodyear): In March 2012, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Lesnick’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Lesnick’s 1983 and 2010 Chapter 7 Bankruptcies and his failure to cooperate with CFP Board’s investigation. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Lesnick’s conduct violated Rule 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rules 6.1 and 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(f) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Mr. Lesnick 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. In accordance with 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.

CALIFORNIA

Warren V. Einolander (Lompoc): In March 2012, following a hearing by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Einolander’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Einolander’s 1993 and 2008 Chapter 7 Bankruptcies. The Commission determined that Mr. Einolander’s conduct violated Rule 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”). In accordance with Article 4.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission permanently revoked Mr. Einolander’s right to use the CFP® certification marks.

Richard M. Yacko (San Diego): In March 2012, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Yacko’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Yacko’s 1994 and 2009 Chapter 7 Bankruptcies, his failure to cooperate with CFP Board’s investigation and his misuse of the CFP® marks. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Yacko’s conduct violated Rule 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rules 6.1 and 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(f) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Mr. Yacko 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. In accordance with 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.

Russell Wayne Young (Irvine): In March 2012, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Young’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. Young: 1) recommended unsuitable investments for a retired financial planning client; 2) recommended clients purchase proprietary products without disclosing that the recommendation constistuted a conflict of interest; and 3) allocated a client’s portfolio entirely in common stock instead of half in preferred stock. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Young’s conduct violated Rules 201, 606(b) and 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and Rules 1.4, 2.1, 4.4, 4.5, and 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Mr. Young 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. In accordance with 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.

COLORADO

Gordon M. Budreau (Denver): In March 2012, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Budreau’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. Budreau violated National Association of Securities Dealers (“NASD”, now known as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. or “FINRA”) Rule 2510 and FINRA Rule 2010 when he: 1) sold stock in 15 customers accounts without written authorization to exercise discretion; and 2) executed unauthorized purchases of shares of a different security in seven customer accounts. Mr. Budreau entered into a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent with FINRA wherein he consented to a suspension from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 10 business days and a $5,000 fine. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Budreau’s conduct violated Rules 4.3, 4.4, 5.1 and 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a), 3(d) and 3(f) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Mr. Budreau 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. In accordance with 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.

FLORIDA

Bruce Pivar (Naples): In March 2012, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Pivar’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Pivar’s involvement in two 2010 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) arbitrations, which alleged that Mr. Pivar recommended unsuitable investments for multiple financial planning clients and that Mr. Pivar altered client documents. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Pivar’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 606(b), 607 and 703 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”). Mr. Pivar 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. In accordance with 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.

KANSAS

Larry Lee Crawford (North Newton): In April 2012, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Crawford’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of a 2009 complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) wherein Mr. Crawford, his former employer, a public company, and the company’s CEO were named defendants in an accounting fraud case. The SEC complaint alleged that Mr. Crawford, who was the company’s CFO, violated the antifraud and reporting provisions of the federal securities laws by: 1) failing to disclose the existence of a related party, the resulting control over a key asset owned by the related party and the revenues obtained by his company as a result of its control of the key asset; 2) falsely representing that his employer sold its parent company several large stamp archives at prices determined by reference to independent stamp catalogs when, in fact, his employer controlled the catalogs; and 3) improperly booking the sale of antiques to the parent company. The Commission determined that Mr. Crawford’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 401(a), 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”). In accordance with Article 4.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission permanently revoked Mr. Crawford’s right to use the CFP® certification marks.

MASSACHUSETTS

William B. Smith (Grafton): In March 2012, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Smith’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. Smith: 1) forged a client’s signature and successfully moved $25,000 in funds from the client’s account to his personal account; and 2) signed a client’s name on transfer documents and fraudulently used $1.2 million of the client’s money for his own benefit. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Smith’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 401(a), 406, 501, 606(b) and 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rules 3.8, 4.1, 4.4, 5.1 and 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Mr. Smith 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. In accordance with 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.

NEW JERSEY

Barbara L. Steinberg (Livingston): In March 2012, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Ms. Steinberg’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Ms. Steinberg’s 1999 and 2009 Chapter 7 Bankruptcies. The Commission determined that Ms. Steinberg’s conduct violated Rules 607 CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rule 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). In accordance with Article 4.4 of the Disciplinary Rules, the Commission permanently revoked Ms. Steinberg’s right to use the CFP® certification marks.

Daniel J. Trolaro (East Hanover): In March 2012, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Trolaro’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. Trolaro defrauded nine clients out of more than $1.9 million. The State of New Jersey alleged that Mr. Torlaro committed theft by retaining clients’ funds, which he was to invest on their behalf, for his personal use. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Trolaro’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 406, 606(a), 606(b) and 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rules 2.1, 4.4, 5.1 and 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a), 3(c) and 3(e) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Mr. Trolaro 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. In accordance with 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.

Sandra M. Venetis (Branchburg): In March 2012, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Ms. Venetis’ right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Ms. Venetis: 1) misappropriated approximately $11 million by operating a fraudulent multi-million dollar offering, which involved selling phony promissory notes to investors, several of whom were retired or unsophisticated; and 2) made material misrepresentations to investors regarding the promissory notes and other offerings. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Ms. Venetis’ conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 606(a), 606(b) and 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rules 2.1, 4.4 and 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a), 3(c) and 3(e) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Ms. Venetis 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. In accordance with 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.

TENNESSEE

Martha J. C. Hawk (Blountville): In March 2012, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Ms. Hawk’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Ms. Hawk’s 2011 no-contest plea to one felony count of theft of $10,000 or more but less than $60,000 and one felony count of forgery. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Ms. Hawk’s conduct 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), 3(c), 3(d) and 3(e) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Ms. Hawk 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. In accordance with 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.

UTAH

David P. Soper (Salt Lake City): In March 2012, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Soper’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Soper’s 2009 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing and failure to cooperate with a CFP Board investigation. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Soper’s conduct violated Rules 6.1 and 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(f) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Mr. Soper 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. In accordance with 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.

WISCONSIN

James E. Putman (Menasha): In March 2012, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Putman’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that: 1) the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed an emergency civil action in United States District Court (“District Court”) against Mr. Putman for alleged securities fraud violations; and 2) the District Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining Mr. Putman and his company from violating certain antifraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Putman’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 401(a), 606(a), 606(b) and 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rule 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Mr. Putman 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. In accordance with 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.

 

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 competent and ethical personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board's mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP® , CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and 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 66,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.

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

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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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