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Press Release

CFP Board Imposes Interim Suspensions on William Reynard of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and Aubrey E. Vaughn, III of Atlanta, Georgia

March 05, 2020

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced that it has imposed interim suspensions of the CFP® certification against William Reynard and Aubrey E. Vaughn, III, both of which were effective as of March 2, 2020.

In March 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued William Reynard of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, an interim suspension of his right to use the CFP® certification marks.  On October 4, 2019, Mr. Reynard disclosed to CFP Board that, on September 30, 2019, he had been named as the primary defendant in a Criminal Information issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under docket number CP-46-CR-0007012-2019, which alleged that Mr. Reynard was charged with 12 felonies not arising out of the provision of financial services.  On December 13, 2019, CFP Board issued an Order to Show Cause directing Mr. Reynard to show why his right to use the CFP® marks should not be temporarily suspended pending the outcome of an investigation by CFP Board pursuant to Article 5.1 of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). On February 19, 2020, Mr. Reynard appeared before the Commission, during which he had the burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the aforementioned alleged conduct did not pose an immediate threat to the public and that the gravity of his alleged conduct did not significantly impinge upon the stature and reputation of the CFP® marks. After considering the evidence and testimony presented, the Commission determined that Mr. Reynard failed to prove that he did not pose an immediate threat to the public and that the gravity of his alleged conduct did not significantly impinge upon the stature and reputation of the CFP® marks.  Therefore, the Commission issued an interim suspension to Mr. Reynard.  Under the interim suspension order, Mr. Reynard’s right to use the CFP® marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings. The interim suspension order became effective on March 2, 2020.

In March 2020, the Commission issued Aubrey E. Vaughn, III of Atlanta, Georgia, an interim suspension of his right to use the CFP® certification marks.  In March 2019, Mr. Vaughn disclosed to CFP Board that he had been named as the primary defendant in the State of Georgia v. Aubrey Vaughn, III (Case Number 19CP181380) in which he was indicted for two felonies not arriving out of the provision of financial services on August 6, 2019.  On December 17, 2019, CFP Board issued an Order to Show Cause directing Mr. Vaughn to show why his right to use the CFP® marks should not be temporarily suspended pending the outcome of an investigation by CFP Board pursuant to Article 5.1 of CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules.  In his response to the Order to Show Cause, Respondent described that, because the alleged victim had recanted allegations, Georgia authorities reaccused the case, with a new case number, charging him with one felony not arising out of the provision of financial services.  Respondent also described that, on December 11, 2019, he entered a “Nolo-Contendere” “Alford” “First Offender” plea to the one nonfinancial felony in the Superior Court of Fulton County in Case No. CR 19-SC-173439.  He was sentenced to five years’ probation, with the ability to petition for discharge of probation without conviction in three years’ time.  On February 19, 2020, Mr. Vaughn appeared before the Commission, where he had the burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the aforementioned alleged conduct did not pose an immediate threat to the public and that the gravity of his alleged conduct did not significantly impinge upon the stature and reputation of the CFP® marks.  After considering the evidence and testimony presented, the Commission determined that Mr. Vaughn proved that he did not pose an immediate threat to the public but that he did not prove that the gravity of the alleged conduct underlying the charge to which he entered the “Nolo-Contendere” “Alford” plea did not significantly impinge upon the stature and reputation of the CFP® marks.  Therefore, the Commission issued an interim suspension to Mr. Vaughn.  Under the interim suspension order, Mr. Vaughn’s right to use the CFP® marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings.  The interim suspension order became effective on March 2, 2020.

An interim suspension is the temporary suspension by the Commission of a CFP® professional’s right to use the marks for a definite or indefinite period of time, while proceedings conducted pursuant to the Disciplinary Rules are pending against the CFP® professional.

The basis for each decision can also be found on CFP Board’s website. The public may check on an individual’s disciplinary history and certification status with CFP Board at https://www.cfp.net/verify-a-cfp-professional.  That website also provides links to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) BrokerCheck and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Investment Adviser Public Disclosure databases, which are free tools that may be used to conduct research on the background and experience of CFP® professionals who are subject to FINRA or SEC oversight, including with respect to employment history, regulatory actions, and investment-related licensing information, arbitrations, and complaints.

CFP Board’s enforcement process is a critical consumer protection. As part of their certification, a CFP® professional agrees to abide by CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct (Code and Standards), or its predecessor, the Standards of Professional Conduct (Standards), which included 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 the Commission pursuant to CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules. If the Commission determines there are grounds for discipline, then it may impose a sanction ranging from a private censure or 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.

ABOUT CFP BOARD

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the 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 and consumer groups as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 86,000 people in the United States.

CONTACT

Terence Poltrack
Communications Consultant
202-864-5201
tpoltrack@cfpboard.org