Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Censures Improper CFP® Certificant Conduct
|Arizona||Charles E. Conatser||Tucson||Revocation|
|California||Donald D. Lukens||Camarillo||Revocation|
|Richard B. McFarland Jr.||Watsonville||Suspension|
|Florida||Clifford W. Maher||Fort Lauderdale||Revocation|
|Indiana||Timothy M. Scannell||Valparaiso||Letter of Admonition|
|Maine||Michael L. Hancock||Falmouth||Revocation|
|New Jersey||Robert S. Ambrozy||Cranford||Suspension|
|New York||William W. Fauth||Huntington||Delay of Certification|
|William H. Goren||Croton on Hudson/Saint James||Revocation|
|Tennessee||Larry W. Cherry||Brentwood||Revocation|
|Texas||Jeffrey W. Baum||Lubbock||Revocation|
|Wisconsin||Leonard Tague Hobert||Brookfield||Letter of Admonition|
An independent certifying organization, CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and , and grants individuals who meet its initial and ongoing certification requirements the right to use them.
Public disciplinary actions taken by CFP Board, in order of decreasing severity, include permanent revocation, suspension or a letter of admonition.
Under terms of the revocations, Baum, Cherry, Conatser, Goren, Hancock, Lukens, and Maher no longer have the right to use the CFP® certification marks. CFP Board suspended the right of Ambrozy and McFarland to use the CFP® certification marks for a period of time. CFP Board delayed certification for William W. Fauth and issued Scannell and Hobert letters of admonition.
These disciplinary actions were taken by the Board of Professional Review, a board of CFP® certificants that interprets and applies CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Financial Planning Practice Standards as well as investigates, deliberates and takes appropriate action with respect to alleged violations of the Code of Ethics or Practice Standards by CFP® certificants. The basis for each decision can be found in the attached report. Consumers can check on a planner's disciplinary history and certification status with CFP Board at www.CFP.net.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., a professional regulatory organization, fosters professional standards in personal financial planning so that the public values, has access to and benefits from competent financial planning. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and . These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 40,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States. For more about CFP Board, visit www.CFP-Board.org.
DISCIPLINARY ACTION REPORT
REVOCATION OF RIGHT TO USE THE CFP CERTIFICATION MARKS
CFP Board has revoked the right of the following individuals to use the marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and as a result of their unethical, improper or illegal professional or personal conduct. Cases have been listed by state.
Charles E. Conatser (Tucson): In March 2002, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Conatser's right to use the CFP certification marks after he failed to respond to CFP Board's February 2002 complaint investigating his unauthorized use of the CFP certification marks during his one year and one day period of suspension, which CFP Board imposed on him in December 2000. Due to Mr. Conatser's failure to respond to CFP Board's complaint, the allegations in the complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.
Donald D. Lukens (Camarillo): In April 2002, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Lukens' right to use the CFP marks after he failed to respond to CFP Board's February 2002 complaint investigating (a) Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that he defrauded investors out of more than $12 million during the 1990s, (b) an arrest on or about April 9, 2001, for allegedly writing approximately $230,000 in bad checks, (c) a May 2000 lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleged that Mr. Lukens used investors' money for personal purposes and to pay back previous creditors, which resulted in a $178,928 award, and (d) a criminal investigation by the FBI. Due to Mr. Luken's failure to respond to CFP Board's Complaint, the allegations in the Complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.
Clifford W. Maher (Fort Lauderdale): In July 2002, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Maher's right to use the CFP marks after he failed to respond to CFP Board's June 2002 complaint investigating two 1999 NASD arbitrations involving allegations that Mr. Maher failed to reasonably supervise an employee who sold clients unsuitable investments. The complaint also alleged Mr. Maher failed to disclose the two National Association of Securities Dealers arbitrations to CFP Board as required. Due to Mr. Maher's failure to respond to the CFP Board complaint, the allegations of the complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.
Michael L. Hancock (Falmouth): In January 2002, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Hancock's right to use the CFP marks after he failed to respond to CFP Board's November 2001 complaint investigating an NASD bar from association with any NASD member in any capacity issued in 2000 and a State of Maine cease and desist order issued in 2000 involving allegations that he accepted money from investors but never made the investments he promised to make, made untrue statements of material facts to clients to induce them to make purported investments, solicited and transacted business in a state while he was unlicensed as a sales representative, and offered and sold unregistered securities in that state. CFP Board was also investigating the following: Mr. Hancock's termination by his broker/dealer for accepting loans from a client in violation of firm policies, revocation of his insurance license by the Maine Insurance Bureau in February 2001, his failure to disclose his state insurance license revocation and the NASD bar to CFP Board within 10 days as required by the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures, and his unauthorized use of the CFP marks. Due to Mr. Hancock's failure to respond to CFP Board's complaint, the allegations in the complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.
William H. Goren (Croton-on-Hudson/Saint James): In November 2001, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Goren's right to use the CFP marks after he failed to answer CFP Board's August 2001 complaint regarding a 2001 federal criminal conviction for securities fraud, a grievance filed with CFP Board by a former client, who alleged securities fraud, and Mr. Goren's unauthorized use of the CFP marks. The criminal conviction resulted in Mr. Goren being sentenced to 87 months imprisonment, three years supervised release and an order to pay restitution in the amount of $31,820,441.43. Mr. Goren also was ordered to pay $100,200 to the court. Due to Mr. Goren's failure to respond to CFP Board's complaint, the allegations in the complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.
Larry W. Cherry (Brentwood): Mr. Cherry was issued an interim suspension by CFP Board in October 2001. In February 2002, CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Cherry's right to use the CFP marks after he failed to respond to CFP Board's September 2001 complaint investigating: (a) a State of Tennessee temporary injunction and restraining order issued against him to prevent him from engaging in certain securities-related activities; (b) a state civil suit alleging that Mr. Cherry misappropriated funds from his clients, sold and/or solicited the sale of unregistered securities and conducted his business in a persistently fraudulent or illegal manner; and (c) a civil suit filed by former clients alleging fraud and conversion. Due to Mr. Cherry's failure to respond to CFP Board's complaint, the allegations in the complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.
Jeffrey W. Baum (Lubbock): In April 2002, Mr. Baum's right to use the CFP marks was permanently revoked after he failed to respond to CFP Board's February 2002 complaint investigating the misuse of the CFP marks in his e-mail address, his failure to respond to CFP Board cease-and-desist letters regarding the misuse, and his subsequent unauthorized use of the CFP marks. Due to Mr. Baum's failure to respond to CFP Board's complaint, the allegations in the complaint were deemed admitted and an order of revocation was issued.
Richard Benn McFarland Jr. (Watsonville): In March 2002, CFP Board suspended Mr. McFarland's right to use the CFP marks for one year and one day following its investigation of an NASD arbitration, an AAA arbitration and a civil lawsuit filed against him. CFP Board found that he negligently misrepresented, recommended and sold unsuitable limited partnerships over a 10-year period, fraudulently breached his fiduciary duty, negligently and fraudulently misrepresented investment risks/liquidity, failed to meet financial planning objectives, and falsely attested on his declaration and renewal forms that he had not been a defendant in a civil proceeding related to his professional conduct.
Robert S. Ambrozy (Cranford): In April 2002, CFP Board suspended Mr. Ambrozy's right to use the CFP marks for one year following its investigation of an 18-month suspension and $10,000 fine by the NASD based on findings that Mr. Ambrozy engaged in private securities transactions by selling away promissory notes to public customers and that he failed to provide written notification to, or obtain written approval from, his member firm prior to effecting the transactions. Mr. Ambrozy also was named in an NASD arbitration and a customer complaint that arose from the sale of the promissory notes and was terminated after his former employer discovered that he failed to disclose his outside business activity. Additionally, CFP Board found that Mr. Ambrozy failed to notify CFP Board of his NASD suspension within 10 calendar days as required by the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures, and falsely attested to CFP Board that he had not been a respondent in a self-regulatory organization arbitration relating to his professional or business conduct. Lastly, CFP Board found that Mr. Ambrozy engaged in the misuse of the CFP marks on his Web site.
DELAY OF CERTIFICATION
The following individual was found to have been in violation of CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. However, the violations did not rise to the level of a denial but rather a delay of his right to use the CFP certification marks.
William W. Fauth (Huntington): In April 2002, CFP Board delayed Mr. Fauth's application for CFP® certification for two years following its investigation of a 1997 eight-month bar and censure by the New York Stock Exchange. Mr. Fauth consented to the NYSE's findings that he: (a) effected transactions in his customers' accounts that were unsuitable and excessive, given their financial resources, investment experience and investment objectives; and (b) violated an NYSE rule by exercising discretion in two customers' accounts without written authorization. Additionally, the Board of Professional Review found that Mr. Fauth engaged in the unauthorized use of the CFP marks by representing himself as a CFP certificant on a Web site approximately two years prior to applying for CFP certification. In mitigation, the Board found that Mr. Fauth disclosed the NYSE matter to CFP Board.
LETTERS OF ADMONITION
The following individuals were found to have been in violation of CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. However, the violations did not rise to the level of revocation or suspension of their right to use the CFP certification marks.
Timothy M. Scannell (Valparaiso): In July 2002, CFP Board issued Mr. Scannell a public letter of admonition following its investigation of two letters of acceptance, waiver and consent (AWC) into which he entered with the NASD. In both AWCs, Mr. Scannell consented to findings that he effected unauthorized transactions while not properly registered to do so. In the first AWC, he consented to a censure and an $18,000 fine and, in the second AWC, he consented to a 30-day suspension from acting in any supervisory/principal capacity and a $10,000 fine. The Board of Professional Review found that Mr. Scannell failed to notify CFP Board of his professional suspension within 10 days as required and falsely attested on his renewal form with respect to the NASD investigations. Additionally, the Board of Professional Review found that Mr. Scannell entered into a consent agreement with the Indiana securities division related to allegations that he failed to properly supervise a subordinate, that he altered documents between two state examinations and that his company's fee structure violated state securities regulations. Mr. Scannell consented to a censure, paid a $1,000 penalty and refunded fees to two clients.
Leonard Tague Hobert (Brookfield): In July 2002, CFP Board issued Mr. Hobert a public letter of admonition after it found that the NASD entered a $12,000 arbitration award against Mr. Hobert as a result of a customer complaint alleging that he sold mutual funds in a taxable account without alerting the customer or telling the customer of the tax consequences. The Board of Professional Review specifically found that the respondent failed to act in the interest of the client when he caused the client to incur a large taxable gain as a result of the liquidation of the client's mutual fund investments.