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Press Release

CFP Board Imposes Public Discipline

April 06, 2017
Disciplinary actions relate to 23 current or former CFP® professionals

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced today public disciplinary actions against the following individuals, 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.

This release contains information about disciplinary actions relating to 23 current or former CFP® professionals. Of these actions, there were 5 letters of admonition, 11 suspensions, and 7 administrative revocations.

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 (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.

The Commission meets at least three 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

The Commission functions in accordance with the Disciplinary Rules and reviews all matters 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

Alabama

Charles J. McCarn

Birmingham

Letter of Admonition

Arkansas

Adam J. Kuettel

Bentonville

Suspension

California

Tiffany Peacock Asakawa

Huntington Beach

Administrative Revocation

California

W. Jon Bettis

Carlsbad

Suspension

California

Eric W. Kuchel

Brea

Administrative Revocation

California

Edward A. Rusowicz, CFP® 

Irvine

Letter of Admonition

Colorado

Christopher S. Scott, CFP® 

Colorado Springs

Letter of Admonition

Florida

Stuart Horowitz

Coral Springs

Administrative Revocation

Florida

Andrew G. Rosenberg

Weston

Administrative Revocation

Florida

Bruce M. Weinstein

Boca Raton

Automatic Interim Suspension

Georgia

Brian Sullivan, CFP® 

Alpharetta

Letter of Admonition

Kentucky

Hampton Scurlock, III

Lexington

Suspension

Maryland

Sharon J. Fall

Chester

Administrative Revocation

Maryland

Cory D. Williams

Monkton

Administrative Revocation

Minnesota

Daniel M. Myers

Woodbury

Suspension

Missouri

Sheldon Jay Harber

St. Louis

Suspension

New Jersey

Brian P. Carr

Chatham

Suspension

Ohio

Douglas S. Miller

Toledo

Automatic Interim Suspension

Pennsylvania

Theodore P. Williams

East Earl

Suspension

Utah

Laurence D. Black

Park City

Administrative Revocation

Washington

William M. Swayne, II

Seattle

Suspension

Wisconsin

Scott A. Larsen, CFP® 

Kenosha

Letter of Admonition

 

PUBLIC LETTERS OF ADMONITION

ALABAMA

Charles J. McCarn (Birmingham):  In December 2016, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) ordered that a Public Letter of Admonition be issued to Mr. McCarn. The Commission determined that Mr. McCarn filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in 1993 and again in 2016, which reflects adversely on Mr. McCarn’s integrity and fitness as a certificant, on the CFP® marks, and on the profession.  The Commission determined that Mr. McCarn’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. McCarn with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.  Mr. McCarn administratively relinquished his CFP® certification in November 2016.

CALIFORNIA

Edward A. Rusowicz, CFP® (Irvine): In November 2016, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) accepted an offer of settlement wherein Mr. Rusowicz received a Public Letter of Admonition.  In the offer of settlement, Mr. Rusowicz consented to CFP Board’s findings that he was convicted of Alcohol Related Reckless Driving in 2003 and Driving Under the Influence twice in 2015.  CFP Board determined that Mr. Rusowicz’s conduct violated Rule 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(A) and 3(C) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.  Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Rusowicz with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.

COLORADO

Christopher S. Scott, CFP® (Colorado Springs): In November 2016, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) accepted an offer of settlement wherein Mr. Scott received a Public Letter of Admonition.  In the offer of settlement, Mr. Scott consented to CFP Board’s findings that he entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), in which he consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings that he borrowed $10,000 from a family trust, for which he was co-trustee, one of several beneficiaries, and the registered representative, in violation of his firm’s rules.  Mr. Scott consented to a 15-day suspension from association with any FINRA member in any capacity and a $5,000 fine. CFP Board determined that Mr. Scott’s conduct violated Rules 1.4, 3.6, 4.3 and 5.1 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. Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Scott with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.

GEORGIA

Brian Sullivan, CFP® (Alpharetta): In November 2016, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) accepted an offer of settlement wherein Mr. Sullivan received a Public Letter of Admonition.  In the offer of settlement, Mr. Sullivan consented to CFP Board’s findings that he: 1) signed a client’s signature on account documentation in 2010; and 2) failed to disclose a termination and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. investigation on his 2012, 2014, and 2016 CFP Board Ethics Declaration.  CFP Board determined that Mr. Sullivan’s conduct violated Rules 5.1 and 6.2 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. Sullivan with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.

WISCONSIN

Scott A. Larsen, CFP® (Kenosha): In February 2017, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission accepted an offer of settlement wherein Mr. Larsen received a Public Letter of Admonition.  In the offer of settlement, Mr. Larsen consented to CFP Board’s findings that he drove the wrong way on the highway after consuming alcohol.  Mr. Larsen pleaded no contest and was convicted of Recklessly Endangering Safety, a Class G felony.  CFP Board determined that Mr. Larsen’s conduct violated Rule 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(A) and 3(C) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.  Accordingly, the Commission admonished Mr. Larsen with regard to the above-mentioned conduct. 

SUSPENSIONS

ARKANSAS

Adam J. Kuettel (Bentonville): In February 2017, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission accepted an offer of settlement wherein Mr. Kuettel received a 10-month suspension of his CFP® certification.  In the offer of settlement, Mr. Kuettel consented to CFP Board’s findings that he assisted investors with the purchase of shares of stock and warrants in a public company through a private investment in public equity.  Mr. Kuettel assisted investors with their purchases by researching and sharing information about the transaction, answering investor questions, making recommendations regarding the investment and transmitting paperwork to and from the investors.  As a result of this conduct, Mr. Kuettel entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA). FINRA suspended Mr. Kuettel from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 10 months and fined him $10,000.  CFP Board also determined that Mr. Kuettel failed to disclose the suspension by FINRA to CFP Board within the required timeframe.  CFP Board determined that Mr. Kuettel’s conduct violated Rule 4.3 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(A), 3(D), and 3(E) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Mr. Kuettel’s suspension is effective from February 28, 2017 until December 28, 2017.

CALIFORNIA

W. Jon Bettis (Carlsbad): In October 2016, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order suspending Mr. Bettis’ CFP® certification for three years and six months or until Mr. Bettis’ satisfaction of a court order by making full payment of a court-ordered judgment, whichever occurs first.  The Commission issued its order after finding that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) suspended Mr. Bettis from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for failure to comply with an arbitration award and to satisfactorily respond to a FINRA request for information concerning the status of a compliance issue. Mr. Bettis also failed to report his FINRA suspension to CFP Board within the required timeframe, failed to disclose his professional license suspension on two separate CFP® certification renewal applications and failed to respond to multiple requests for information by CFP Board.  The Commission determined that Mr. Bettis conduct violated Rule 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(A), 3(D), 3(E), 3(F), and 3(G) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Mr. Bettis suspension became effective on December 31, 2016.


FLORIDA

Bruce M. Weinstein (Boca Raton): In December 2016, CFP Board issued Mr. Weinstein an automatic interim suspension of his CFP® certification.  CFP Board issued the interim suspension after discovering that Mr. Weinstein entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), in which he consented to FINRA’s findings that he knowingly submitted false expense reports to his firm and accepted reimbursements on ineligible expenses.  Mr. Weinstein consented to a permanent bar from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. 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. Weinstein’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings. The interim suspension order became effective on December 21, 2016.

KENTUCKY

Hampton Scurlock, III (Lexington):
In August 2016, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order suspending Mr. Scurlock’s CFP® certification for two years.  The Commission issued its order after finding that Mr. Scurlock entered into a “finders’ agreement” with a bond issuer, pursuant to which he would be paid a 5 percent commission.  The bond issuer would ultimately pay at least a portion of the commissions to Mr. Scurlock’s firm rather than Mr. Scurlock himself.  As a result of this conduct, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission determined that Mr. Scurlock and his firm violated Section 15(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by effecting transactions in securities without registering as a broker or dealer.  In addition, Mr. Scurlock violated his fiduciary obligations to clients when he failed to disclose material information about the bond issuer’s financial circumstances to his clients.  Finally, the Commission determined that Mr. Scurlock failed to respond to two requests for information made by CFP Board staff.  The Commission determined that Mr. Scurlock’s conduct violated Rules 1.4 and 4.3 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. Mr. Scurlock’s suspension is effective from October 4, 2016 until October 4, 2018.

MINNESOTA

Daniel M. Myers (Woodbury): In August 2016, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order suspending Mr. Myers’ CFP® certification for two years. In reaching its decision, the Commission found that Mr. Myers was convicted of Driving While Intoxicated once in 2003, twice in 2008 and once in 2014, which reflected adversely on his integrity and fitness as a CFP® professional, upon the CFP® marks and upon the profession.  The Commission determined that Mr. Myers’ conduct violated Rule 6.5 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(A) and 3(C) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Mr. Myers’ suspension is effective from October 4, 2016 until October 4, 2018.

MISSOURI

Sheldon Jay Harber (St. Louis): In February 2017, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) accepted an offer of settlement wherein Mr. Harber agreed to a five-month suspension of his CFP® certification.  In the offer of settlement, Mr. Harber consented to CFP Board’s findings that he participated in private securities transactions by investing, and facilitating investments by six other investors, in a company through an outside investment vehicle without providing written notice to, or receiving approval from, his firm.  As a result of Mr. Harber’s conduct, he entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), which imposed a four-month suspension from association with any FINRA member in any capacity and a $10,000 fine.  CFP Board also determined that Mr. Harber failed to disclose the suspension by FINRA to CFP Board within the required timeframe and made false statements to CFP Board regarding the FINRA suspension and a termination by his firm on his CFP Board Ethics Declaration.  CFP Board determined that Mr. Harber’s conduct violated Rules 4.3 and 5.1 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(A), 3(D), 3(E) and 3(G) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.  Mr. Harber’s suspension is effective from February 28, 2017 until July 28, 2017.

NEW JERSEY

Brian P. Carr (Chatham): In August 2016, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order retroactively suspending Mr. Carr’s CFP® certification for five years.  In reaching its decision, the Commission found that Mr. Carr was the subject of a New Jersey Administrative Consent Order, which concluded that he violated New Jersey law when he defrauded investors, made materially false and misleading statements and/or omissions, engaged in a course of business that led to fraud and/or deceit upon investors, unlawfully acted as an agent in representing his firm in conducting transactions while not being registered in New Jersey and sold unregistered securities. Mr. Carr was also the subject of an order from the Arkansas Securities Commissioner revoking his firm’s investment advisor registration and fining his firm $30,000 in connection with the offer and sale of unregistered, non-exempt securities. The North Carolina Securities Division also issued a temporary order requiring Mr. Carr’s firm to cease and desist from selling securities until properly registered. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) suspended Mr. Carr from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for failure to comply with an arbitration award or settlement agreement or to satisfactorily respond to a FINRA request to provide information concerning the status of compliance.  Mr. Carr failed to disclose the FINRA suspension to CFP Board within the required timeframe.  The Commission noted that Mr. Carr did not act with intent to defraud his clients and had undertaken diligent efforts to recover client funds.  The Commission determined that Mr. Carr’s conduct violated Rules 102, 201, 606(a) and 607 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Rules 1.4, 2.1, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 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. Mr. Carr’s suspension is retroactively effective from October 4, 2013 until October 4, 2018.

PENNSYLVANIA

Theodore P. Williams (East Earl): In August 2016, CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order suspending Mr. Williams’ CFP® certification for one year and one day. The Commission found that Mr. Williams failed to act in a client’s interest when he recommended and sold her unsuitable variable universal life insurance, variable annuities and real estate investment trusts and placed a bulk of the client’s assets into long-term investments with high fees and expenses when the client’s primary objective was income.  Mr. Williams made these recommendations when he knew the client’s primary objective was income and that the client had a negative monthly discretionary income.  The Commission determined that there was no evidence to indicate Mr. Williams discussed with the client how her negative monthly discretionary income would impact her ability to purchase illiquid investments.  The Commission determined that Mr. Williams’ conduct violated Rules 201, 202, 701 and 703 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Practice Standards 200-1, 300-1, 400-3 and 500-2, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(A) and 3(B) of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Mr. Williams’ suspension is effective from October 4, 2016 until October 5, 2017.

OHIO

Douglas S. Miller (Toledo):  In February 2017, CFP Board issued Mr. Miller an automatic interim suspension of his right to use the CFP® certification.  CFP Board issued an interim suspension after discovering that Mr. Miller entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), in which he consented to FINRA’s findings that he participated in the sale of investments in limited liability companies to clients without providing written notice to his firm, failed to disclose to the firm that he received compensation from the limited liability companies for advising the companies, and failed to appropriately disclose to the firm investments he made personally or on behalf of family members in the limited liability company.  Mr. Miller consented to a permanent bar from association with any FINRA member in any capacity. Pursuant to Article 5.7 o