CFP Board Imposes an Interim Suspension on William D. King of Knoxville, Tennessee
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced that it has imposed an interim suspension of the CFP® certification against William D. King, which was effective as of December 23, 2020.
On December 23, 2020, CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension temporarily suspending William D. King’s right to use the CFP® certification marks pursuant to Article 2.1.b. of CFP Board’s Procedural Rules. Article 2.1.b. provides that: “CFP Board Counsel, without action by a Hearing Panel or the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, may deliver an Interim Suspension Order if Respondent…is the subject of Professional Discipline, as defined in Article 7.2, that resulted in a revocation, bar, or equivalent sanction.” Article 7.2 states: “A record from a…federal…governmental agency…imposing discipline upon Respondent (“Professional Discipline”) is conclusive proof of the existence of such Professional Discipline and the facts and violations that serve as the basis for such Professional Discipline…A record of Professional Discipline includes a…suspension, bar, or revocation…”.
CFP Board imposed an automatic interim suspension after receiving evidence that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) barred Mr. King, with the right to re-apply in three years, on September 11, 2020, pursuant to a Consent Order entered into by Mr. King and the SEC. On the basis of the Consent Order, the SEC found that, from August 2015 through September 2018, Mr. King solicited investors to make various investments in a penny stock without disclosing to investors that he received approximately $72,000 in shares as a commission and that he retained approximately $447,000 in shares as fees. The SEC found that this conduct violated Sections 206(2) and 206(3) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The SEC further found that, while he was soliciting investors to make these investments, Mr. King operated as a broker-dealer without being registered to do so, which violated Section 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Pursuant to the Consent Order, without admitting or denying the findings, Mr. King agreed to cease and desist from any violations and future violations of the charged provisions and to pay disgorgement of $519,634.00, prejudgment interest of $33,388.13 and a civil penalty of $75,000. In addition, as noted, Mr. King also agreed to an associational bar, investment company prohibition, and penny stock bar, with a right to reapply after three years. Under CFP Board’s automatic interim suspension order, Mr. King’s right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended pending CFP Board’s completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings.
An interim suspension is a suspension of a CFP® professional’s Certification and Trademark License during the pendency of proceedings. A Respondent subject to an Interim Suspension Order must not use the CFP® certification marks or state or suggest that Respondent is a CFP® professional while the Interim Suspension Order is in effect. An Interim Suspension Order is a temporary sanction and does not preclude CFP Board from imposing a final sanction. An Interim Suspension Order will remain in place until the DEC or, if an appeal is filed, the Appeals Committee, issues a final order.
The basis for this decision also may be found on CFP Board’s website at https://www.cfp.net/verify-a-cfp-professional. At that website, the public may check on any individual’s CFP Board disciplinary history and CFP® certification status. The website also provides links to other sources of information about CFP® professionals that may be more recent or that may contain information that has not led to CFP Board discipline and does not appear on CFP Board’s website. That information may include customer disputes, disciplinary actions taken by a regulator or employer, certain criminal matters, and certain financial matters (such as bankruptcy proceedings and unpaid judgments or liens). For those who are subject to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or SEC oversight, the website includes links to FINRA’s BrokerCheck and the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure databases.
CFP Board’s enforcement process is a critical consumer protection. As part of their certification, CFP® professionals agree to abide by CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct. CFP Board enforces its ethical standards by investigating alleged violations and, where there is probable cause to believe there are grounds for sanction, presenting a Complaint containing the alleged violations to the Commission pursuant to CFP Board’s Procedural Rules. If the Commission determines there are grounds for sanction, then it may impose a sanction ranging from a private censure to public censure to the suspension or revocation of the right to use the CFP® marks. CFP Board’s Procedural Rules set forth the process for investigating matters and imposing a sanction where violations have been found.
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 88,000 people in the United States.
Director, External Communications