Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced today that it has imposed an automatic interim suspension of Victor Lee’s CFP® certification, effective April 5, 2017.
CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension after discovering that Mr. Lee consented to a permanent bar from association with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) member in any capacity. Mr. Lee consented to, without admitting or denying, FINRA’s findings that from September 2012 to December 2013 he engaged in an undisclosed outside business activity in which he assisted a local tax preparer from whom he sought referral business. According to FINRA, Mr. Lee created at least 50 partnership agreements for clients of a tax preparer and held himself out to be a partner of the tax preparer. Mr. Lee did not provide notice to his firm of his activities. As a result, Mr. Lee violated FINRA Rules 3270 and 2010.
FINRA also determined that Mr. Lee created the partnership agreements for clients when he had reason to believe the clients were under audit relating to tax deductions claimed on partnership tax returns filed in previous years. Mr. Lee knew the clients did not have documented partnership agreements. Notwithstanding this information, Mr. Lee created and backdated partnership agreements for these clients. As a result, Mr. Lee violated FINRA Rule 2010.
Pursuant to Article 5.7 of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures, “[a]n interim suspension shall immediately be issued without a hearing when CFP Board Counsel receives evidence of a conviction or a professional discipline in accordance with Article 13.1 for…revocation of a financial professional license (securities, insurance, accounting or bank-related license).” Under the interim suspension order, Mr. Lee’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings.
CFP Board’s enforcement process is a critical consumer protection. CFP® professionals agree to abide by CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct (Standards), which includes the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility (Code of Ethics), Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards (Practice Standards). The 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 by CFP® professionals. In cases where violations are found, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) may impose discipline ranging from a private censure or public letter of admonition to the suspension or revocation of an individual’s right to use the CFP® marks. CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (Disciplinary Rules) set forth the process for investigating matters and imposing discipline where violations have been found.
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 76,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.
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