CFP Board Imposes Automatic Interim Suspensions

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CFP Board Imposes Automatic Interim Suspensions

Jun 14, 2019
Automatic Interim Suspensions relate to 6 current CFP® professionals

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced today automatic interim suspensions against the following individuals, effective immediately or on the date noted in each case. 

Pursuant to Article 5.7 of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (Disciplinary Rules), an interim suspension shall immediately be issued without a hearing when CFP Board Counsel receives evidence of a conviction or professional discipline in accordance with Article 13.1 for a felony conviction for any crime or revocation of a financial professional license. Article 13.1 also provides that a certificate from the clerk of the court of criminal jurisdiction indicating that a respondent has been convicted of a crime in that court or a letter or other writing from a governmental or industry self-regulatory authority to the effect that a respondent has been the subject of an order of professional discipline by such authority shall conclusively establish the existence of such. 

This release contains information about the imposition of recent automatic interim suspensions relating to six current CFP® professionals.

The basis for each decision can be found in a Disciplinary Action Report below and on CFP Board’s website. The public may check on an individual’s disciplinary history and certification status with CFP Board at www.CFP.net/verify.

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, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards

CFP Board enforces its ethical standards by investigating incidents of alleged violations and, where there is probable cause to believe there are grounds for discipline, presenting a complaint containing the alleged violations to CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) pursuant to CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules.  If the Commission determines there are grounds for discipline, it may impose a sanction ranging from a private censure or public letter of admonition to the suspension or revocation of the right to use the CFP® marks.  CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules set forth the process for investigating matters and imposing discipline where violations have been found.

The Commission meets at least six times a year to provide a fair, unbiased review of any matter in which a CFP® professional is alleged to have committed violations of the Standards

While CFP Board has attempted to capture the details relevant to each decision, the summary nature of these releases may omit certain details affecting each 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

California

Harry F. Couglar

San Diego

Automatic Interim Suspension

California

Dale F. Norton, Jr.

Newhall

Automatic Interim Suspension

Georgia

Craig E. Lewis

Gainesville

Automatic Interim Suspension

Michigan

David C. Ferwerda

Grand Rapids

Automatic Interim Suspension

Ohio

Sam Aziz

Powell

Automatic Interim Suspension

South Carolina

Benjamin Galloway

Columbia

Automatic Interim Suspension

AUTOMATIC INTERIM SUSPENSION

CALIFORNIA

Harry F. Couglar (San Diego):  On June 13, 2019, CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension temporarily suspending Harry F. Couglar’s right to use the CFP® certification marks.  CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension after receiving evidence that Mr. Couglar entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) on May 21, 2018, wherein FINRA made findings of FINRA rule violations and barred him from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity after he: 1) failed to notify his firm and two other FINRA member firms that he had discretionary authority over 87 joint or individual accounts held by a total of 50 individuals at two other FINRA member firms; 2) falsely stated to his firm that he did not have discretionary authority over any outside securities accounts belonging to non-family members; 3) prepared tax returns for at least 18 individuals without disclosing his activities to his firm; and 4) falsely stated to his firm that he had fully disclosed his outside business activities.  FINRA determined that Mr. Couglar’s conduct violated NASD Rules 3050(c) and 2110 and FINRA Rules 2010 and 3270.  Under the automatic interim suspension order, Mr. Couglar’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings. 

Dale F. Norton, Jr. (Newhall):  On June 14, 2019, CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension temporarily suspending Dale F. Norton, Jr.’s right to use the CFP® certification marks.  CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension after receiving evidence that on April 25, 2017, Mr. Norton was the subject of a felony conviction for possession of child or youth pornography under California Penal Code 311.11(a).  Mr. Norton violated Article 13.2 of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules by failing to report the felony conviction to CFP Board within 30 days.  On June 22, 2017, Mr. Norton falsely stated to CFP Board on his Ethics Declaration that he had not been convicted of a felony when he had been convicted of a felony only months earlier.  CFP Board also received evidence indicating that the State of California Department of Insurance permanently barred Mr. Norton due to the felony conviction. Mr. Norton violated Article 13.2 of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules by failing to report the California Department of Insurance bar to CFP Board within 30 days.  On June 3, 2019, Mr. Norton falsely stated to CFP Board on his Ethics Declaration that he had never had a professional license revoked.  Under the automatic interim suspension order, Mr. Norton’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings. 

GEORGIA

Craig E. Lewis (Gainesville):  On June 13, 2019, CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension temporarily suspending Craig E. Lewis’s right to use the CFP® certification marks.  CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension after receiving evidence that Mr. Lewis entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) on November 29, 2017, wherein FINRA made findings of FINRA rule violations and barred him from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity after he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA staff pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210.   FINRA had requested his testimony in connection with its investigation of Mr. Lewis’s outside business activity.  Under the automatic interim suspension order, Mr. Lewis’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings. 

MICHIGAN

David C. Ferwerda (Grand Rapids):  On June 13, 2019, CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension temporarily suspending David C. Ferwerda’s right to use the CFP® certification marks.  CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension after receiving evidence that Mr. Ferwerda entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) on October 30, 2018, wherein FINRA made findings of FINRA rule violations and barred him from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity after he refused to provide information and documents FINRA had requested pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210.  FINRA requested the information in connection with its investigation of Mr. Ferwerda’s participation in sales of notes of a group of unregistered investment companies.  Under the automatic interim suspension order, Mr. Ferwerda’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings. 

OHIO 

Sam Aziz (Powell):  On June 13, 2019, CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension temporarily suspending Sam Aziz’s right to use the CFP® certification marks.  CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension after receiving evidence that Mr. Aziz entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) on March 27, 2019, wherein FINRA made findings of FINRA rule violations and barred him from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity after he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA staff pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210.   FINRA had requested the testimony in connection with its investigation of allegations that Mr. Aziz engaged in excessive trading, made unsuitable recommendations involving the use of margin, attempted to settle a customer’s complaint away from his member firm, and other allegations.  Under the automatic interim suspension order, Mr. Aziz’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings. 

SOUTH CAROLINA

Benjamin Galloway (Columbia):  On June 13, 2019, CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension temporarily suspending Benjamin Galloway’s right to use the CFP® certification marks.  CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension after receiving evidence that Mr. Galloway entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) on January 25, 2019, wherein FINRA made findings of FINRA rule violations and barred him from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity after he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA staff pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210.   FINRA had requested the testimony in connection with its investigation of Mr. Galloway’s requests for mileage reimbursement and use of a corporate credit card.  Under the automatic interim suspension order, Mr. Galloway’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings. 

ABOUT CFP BOARD

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is a professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S.  CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning.  CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical, and competent financial planning workforce.  Widely recognized by firms as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 84,000 people in the United States.

CONTACT: Jessica Lewis, Communications Specialist P: 202-379-2256 M: 301-655-0389 E: jlewis@cfpboard.org Twitter: @cfpboardmedia

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