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Press Release

Disciplinary Action Report

October 09, 2011

Washington, DC, October 10, 2011 – 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.

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/search.

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 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 Geoffrey W. White, CFP® Tempe Letter of Admonition
California Martin D. Batstone San Diego Revocation
California Timothy J. Clyman Encinitas Revocation
California Alvin W. Gebhart, CFP® Fallbrook Letter of Admonition
California John H. Raphael, CFP® Walnut Creek Letter of Admonition
Connecticut Matthew Lechner Westport Revocation
Florida Juan Jose Barberis Jacksonville Suspension
Florida James A. Barry, Jr., CFP® Highland Beach Letter of Admonition
Florida Robert D. Lovett Coral Springs Suspension
Florida Neal S. Smalbach Palm Harbor Interim Suspension
Georgia Stephen K. Simpson, CFP® Macon Letter of Admonition
Georgia Jay L. Thacker Atlanta Revocation
Illinois Lynda C. Paul Gurnee Suspension
Indiana Warren A. Ward, CFP® Columbus Letter of Admonition
Nevada Daniel H. Hughes, CFP® Las Vegas Letter of Admonition
New Jersey Brian P. Carr Chatham Interim Suspension
New Jersey Jared S. Friedman Scotch Plains Suspension
New York Christopher G. Gibas Grand Island Suspension
Ohio Jeffrey Shoffer Toledo Revocation
Oregon Maro A. Paz, CFP® Bend Letter of Admonition
Pennsylvannia Richard O. Dorman, Jr. Pittsburgh Revocation
Rhode Island Emilio J. Senesi, Jr., CFP® Cranston Letter of Admonition
Texas Carl E. Jones Euless Suspension
Texas Jeremy B. Stauss Fort Worth Suspension
Wisconsin John R. Tufts Madison Suspension

LETTERS OF ADMONITION

ARIZONA

Geoffrey W. White, CFP® (Tempe): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Appeals Committee, CFP Board issued an order affirming the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission’s (“Commission”) order issuing a Letter of Admonition to Mr. White. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. White: 1) recommended an unsuitable real estate loan fund to his client; and 2) misrepresented that his client was an accredited investor and, therefore, eligible to purchase shares of the fund. The Appeals Committee affirmed the Commission’s determination that Mr. White’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 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”). Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. White with regard to the above-mentioned conduct, pursuant to Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules.

CALIFORNIA

Alvin W. Gebhart, CFP® (Fallbrook): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Gebhart. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. Gebhart sold unregistered securities in the form of promissory notes without approval from his firm. Following, National Association of Securities Dealers (“NASD”) proceedings, Mr. Gebhart was barred by the NASD for violating: 1) NASD Conduct Rule 2110 and Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 for offering and selling unregistered securities; 2) NASD Conduct Rules 3040 and 2110 for engaging in private securities transactions without approval from his firm; and 3) Section 10b(b) of the Securities Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and NASD Conduct Rules 2120 and 2110 for recklessly ignoring risks related to the promissory notes and failing to investigate the promissory notes. The Commission determined that Mr. Gebhart’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 406, 606(a), 606(b), 607, 701 and 704 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”). Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Gebhart with regard to the above-mentioned conduct, pursuant to Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules.

John H. Raphael, CFP® (Walnut Creek): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Raphael. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Raphael’s 2010 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The Commission found that Mr. Raphael demonstrated an inability to manage his personal finances by filing the bankruptcy, and thus engaged in conduct that reflects adversely on his integrity and fitness as a CFP® professional, upon the CFP® certification marks, and upon the profession. The Commission determined that Mr. Raphael’s conduct provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Raphael with regard to the above-mentioned conduct, pursuant to Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules.

FLORIDA

James A. Barry, Jr., CFP® (Highland Beach): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Barry. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that he: 1) sold the major asset of his investment advisory firm for his own benefit and to the detriment of the minority shareholders, who were also investment advisory clients of the firm; 2) failed to disclose on his New York insurance license renewal application that he had been named in National Association of Securities Dealers arbitrations and customer complaints; and 3) engaged in an inappropriate relationship with his client. The Commission determined that Mr. Barry’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 406, 606(a), 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”). Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Barry with regard to the above-mentioned conduct, pursuant to Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules.

GEORGIA

Stephen K. Simpson, CFP® (Macon): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition Mr. Simpson. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Simpson’s 2010 Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filings. The Commission found that Mr. Simpson demonstrated an inability to manage his personal finances by filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and thus engaged in conduct that reflects adversely on his integrity and fitness as a CFP® professional, upon the CFP® certification marks, and upon the profession. The Commission determined that Mr. Simpson’s conduct provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Simpson with regard to the above-mentioned conduct, pursuant to Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules.

INDIANA

Warren A. Ward, CFP® (Columbus): ): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Ward. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. Ward filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on September 21, 2009. The Commission determined that Mr. Ward demonstrated an inability to manage his personal finances by filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and thus engaged in conduct that reflects adversely on his integrity and fitness as a CFP® professional, upon the CFP® certification marks, and upon the profession. The Commission determined that Mr. Ward’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. Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Ward with regard to the above-mentioned conduct, pursuant to Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules.

NEVADA

Daniel H. Hughes, CFP® (Las Vegas): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Hughes. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that he: 1) engaged in outside business activity when a company, for which he was principal owner, assigned a loan to a client of his financial firm; 2) did not report this outside business activity to his broker-dealer employer and consequently was terminated; and 3) entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (formerly the National Association of Securities Dealers or “NASD”) in which he agreed to a 10-day suspension and a $5,000 fine for violations of NASD Conduct Rules 3030 and 2110. The Commission determined that Mr. Hughes’ conduct violated Rules 409, 606(a), 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”). Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Hughes with regard to the above-mentioned conduct, pursuant to Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules.

OREGON

Maro A. Paz, CFP® (Bend): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Paz. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Paz’s 2010 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing. The Commission found that Mr. Paz demonstrated an inability to manage his personal finances by filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and thus engaged in conduct that reflects adversely on his integrity and fitness as a CFP® professional, upon the CFP® certification marks, and upon the profession. The Commission determined that Mr. Paz’s conduct provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Paz with regard to the above-mentioned conduct, pursuant to Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules.

RHODE ISLAND

Emilio J. Senesi, CFP® (Cranston): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a Letter of Admonition to Mr. Senesi. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. Senesi: 1) conducted business as an investment advisor in Rhode Island for three years without being properly registered, as required by the Rhode Island Uniform Securities Act; 2) failed to properly renew an employee’s investment adviser representative license for one year; 3) failed to timely file an annual amendment to his firm’s Form ADV; and 4) failed to timely amend the firm’s Form ADV after making material changes to the Form ADV Part II in violation of the Rhode Island General Laws and the Investment Advisers Act. The Commission determined that Mr. Senesi’s conduct violated Rules 201, 606(a), 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”). Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Senesi with regard to the above-mentioned conduct, pursuant to Article 4.2 of the Disciplinary Rules.

SUSPENSIONS

FLORIDA

Juan Jose Barberis (Jacksonville): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Appeals Committee, CFP Board issued an order affirming the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission’s (“Commission”) order issuing a five-year suspension of Mr. Barberis’ right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Barberis’ April 2008 no contest plea in a Florida Circuit Court (“Court”) to the transmission of material harmful to minors, a third-degree felony. In May 2008, in accordance with Mr. Barberis’ no contest plea, the Court issued an order withholding adjudication and placing Mr. Barberis on community control and probation. The Appeals Committee affirmed the Commission’s determination that Mr. Barberis’ conduct reflects adversely on his integrity and fitness as a CFP® professional, upon the CFP® marks, and upon the profession, which is in violation of Rules 102 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”). Accordingly, the Commission suspended Mr. Barberis’ right to use the CFP® certification marks for five years, pursuant to Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules. Mr. Barberis’ suspension is effective from August 2, 2011 to August 2, 2016.

Robert D. Lovett (Coral Springs): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Lovett’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day. The suspension followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Lovett’s Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filing and multiple allegations of breach of contract relating to his teaching activities in CFP Board-approved Registered Programs. Following a hearing, the Commission found that Mr. Lovett demonstrated an inability to manage his personal finances when he filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and breached multiple contracts related to his teaching activities in the Registered Programs. The Commission determined that Mr. Lovett’s conduct violated Rule 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rule 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Accordingly, the Commission suspended Mr. Lovett’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day, pursuant to Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules. Mr. Lovett’s suspension is effective from August 22, 2011 to August 23, 2012.

ILLINOIS

Lynda C. Paul (Gurnee): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order suspending Ms. Paul’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for two months. The suspension followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Ms. Paul: 1) engaged in outside business activities without providing prompt written notice to her employer, in violation of her employer’s policy, National Association of Securities Dealers (“NASD”) Rules 3030 and 2110 and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) Rules 3030 and 2110; 2) entered into an October 2010 Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with FINRA wherein she agreed to a two-month suspension and a $5,000 fine; and 3) failed to notify CFP Board of her professional suspension within 10 calendar days of the suspension. The Commission determined that Ms. Paul’s conduct violated Rules 4.4, 5.1, 6.4 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”). Accordingly, the Commission suspended Ms. Paul’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for two months, pursuant to Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules. Ms. Paul’s suspension is effective from August 22, 2011 to October 22, 2011.

NEW JERSEY

Jared S. Friedman (Scotch Plains): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Friedman’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for seven months. The suspension followed CFP Board’s investigation of the following matters: 1) a 2009 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA,” formerly known as the National Association of Securities Dealers, or “NASD”) Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent in which Mr. Friedman consented to violations of NASD Conduct Rules 3040 and 2110 for participating in a private securities transaction without providing prior written notice to, or obtaining prior written approval from, his employer, and violations of FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010 for failing to timely respond to FINRA staff’s requests; and 2) Mr. Friedman’s 2009 Internal Review and Termination from his employer for failing to provide information during the course of an investigation regarding the same private securities transaction. The Commission determined that Mr. Friedman’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 5.1 and 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(d) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Accordingly, the Commission suspended Mr. Friedman’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for seven months, pursuant to Article 4.3 of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules. Mr. Friedman’s suspension is effective from July 22, 2011 to February 22, 2012.

NEW YORK

Christopher G. Gibas (Grand Island): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued a three-month suspension to Mr. Gibas. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of allegations that Mr. Gibas: 1) failed to reasonably supervise a registered representative from September 2003 through May 2006; 2) did not adequately respond to red flags that should have alerted him that the registered representative’s transactions were unsuitable for her customers; 3) consented to the entry of findings of violations of the National Association of Securities Dealers (“NASD,” now known as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. or “FINRA”) Rules 3010 and 2110; and 4) received a suspension for five months and a $10,000 fine from FINRA. In October 2010, Mr. Gibas entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with FINRA in which he consented to the finding that he failed to take appropriate action that was reasonably designed to detect and prevent the registered representative’s violations. The Commission determined that Mr. Gibas’ conduct violated Rules 606(a), 606(b), 607, 701 and 705 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”). Accordingly, the Commission suspended Mr. Gibas’ right to use the CFP® certification marks for three months, pursuant to Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules. Mr. Gibas’ suspension is effective from August 10, 2011 to November 10, 2011.

TEXAS

Carl E. Jones (Euless): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board suspended Mr. Jones’ right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year. This discipline followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Jones’ 2009 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing. The Commission found that by filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Mr. Jones demonstrated an inability to manage his personal finances and thus engaged in conduct that reflects adversely on his integrity and fitness as a CFP® professional, upon the CFP® certification marks, and upon the profession. The Commission determined that Mr. Jones’ conduct provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Accordingly, the Commission suspended Mr. Jones’ right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year pursuant to Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules and ordered Mr. Jones to complete 30 additional hours of continuing education during the suspension. Mr. Jones’ suspension is effective from August 22, 2011 to August 22, 2012.

Jeremy B. Stauss (Fort Worth): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Stauss’ right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year. The suspension followed CFP Board’s investigation of Mr. Stauss’ 2010 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing and his failure to repay a 2006 promissory note to his former employer. The Commission determined that by filing for bankruptcy and by failing to repay the balance due on his promissory note, Mr. Stauss engaged in conduct that reflects adversely on his integrity and fitness as a CFP® professional, upon the CFP® certification marks and upon the profession. The Commission determined that Mr. Stauss’ conduct violated Rule 607 of the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rule 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). Accordingly, the Commission suspended Mr. Stauss’ right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year, pursuant to Article 4.3 of the Disciplinary Rules. Mr. Stauss’ suspension is effective from August 22, 2011 to August 22, 2012.

WISCONSIN

John R. Tufts (Madison): In August 2011, following a hearing before CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Tufts’ right to use the CFP® certification marks for three months. The suspension followed CFP Board’s investigation of a suspension by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA,” formerly known as the National Association of Securities Dealers or “NASD”). Following the hearing, the Commission found that Mr. Tufts: 1) failed to execute trade orders and executed an unauthorized transaction in a client’s account; 2) exercised discretion in a client’s account without prior written authorization from the client to exercise discretion in her account; and 3) violated NASD Conduct Rules 21