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News Release

CFP Board Imposes Public Sanctions On 25 Individuals

May 03, 2022

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced today public sanctions against 25 current or former CFP® professionals or candidates for CFP® certification, effective immediately or on the date noted in each case. Public sanctions taken by CFP Board, in order of increasing severity, include Public Censures, Suspensions, Temporary Bars, Permanent Bars and Revocations of the right to use the CFP® marks.

CFP Board’s Enforcement Process

As part of their certification, CFP® professionals make a commitment to CFP Board 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’s Procedural Rules set forth the process for investigating matters and imposing sanctions where violations have been found.

CFP Board enforces its ethical standards by investigating alleged violations and, where there is probable cause to believe there are grounds for sanction, presents a Complaint containing the alleged violations to CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission). The Commission meets at least six times a year to review any matter in which CFP Board has alleged that a CFP® professional has violated the Code and Standards, or its predecessor Standards. The Commission functions in accordance with the Procedural Rules and reviews all matters on a case-by-case basis, considering the details specific to an individual case. If the Commission determines there are grounds for sanction, then it may impose a sanction. Commission orders may be appealed by a CFP® professional or CFP Board pursuant to the Procedural Rules.

In certain circumstances, such as when a CFP® professional is in default due to failure to acknowledge receipt of a Notice of Investigation or file an Answer, CFP Board staff must deliver an Administrative Order of Suspension, Temporary Bar, Revocation or Permanent Bar. Administrative Orders are subject to appeal.

More information on CFP Board’s enforcement process can be found at CFP.net/ethics/enforcement. In addition, at CFP.net/verify, CFP Board provides the public with:

  • The ability to check on any individual’s CFP Board disciplinary history and CFP® certification status.
  • 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. This 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).
  • 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 for individuals who are subject to FINRA or SEC oversight.

The Public Sanctions on 25 Individuals

A short summary of each sanction can be found below.

STATE

NAME

LOCATION

SANCTION

New York

Jared Reinstein, CFP®

Ballston Lake

Public Censure

Georgia

Andres M. Romero, CFP®

Atlanta

Public Censure

Florida

Joseph A. Tuffley

Bradenton

Public Censure

New York

Henry Yu Yeung Li

Bayside

Temporary Bar

Utah

Kevin G. Bauer

Park City

Administrative Temporary Bar

California

Amy Hung

Santa Clara

Administrative Temporary Bar

New York

Jai Ramsawak

New York

Administrative Temporary Bar

Connecticut

Paul Valickus

Enfield

Administrative Temporary Bar

Arizona

Tom Atchison

Phoenix

Suspension

California

Michael E. Denzinger

Newport Beach

Suspension

Georgia

Debasish Hajra

Marietta

Suspension

Arizona

Guilford W. Nergard

Phoenix

Suspension

Missouri

Scott S. Niekamp

Wildwood

Suspension

Washington

Martin Sobolewski

Shoreline

Suspension

California

J. Michael Stephens

Saratoga

Administrative Suspension

New York

Elliott Bruce Nadel

New York

Administrative Permanent Bar

New Jersey

Joseph R. Soccio

West Caldwell

Administrative Permanent Bar

Florida

Gerard F. Stellwagen

Venice

Revocation

Oregon

Jeremy T. Armitage

Happy Valley

Administrative Revocation

Pennsylvania

Robert J. Knox

Du Bois

Administrative Revocation

Georgia

Sapna B. Patel

Lawrenceville

Administrative Revocation

Pennsylvania

William T. Reynard

King of Prussia

Administrative Revocation

Florida

Ralph Schlosser

Largo

Administrative Revocation

Missouri

Brent Spicuzza

Chesterfield

Administrative Revocation

Georgia

Carrie Wisniewski

Norcross

Administrative Revocation


PUBLIC CENSURE

FLORIDA

Joseph A. Tuffley (Bradenton, Florida): In February 2022, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order in which Mr. Tuffley received a Public Censure. Pursuant to Section E.2 of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct (Code and Standards), a CFP® professional may not engage in conduct that reflects adversely on his or her integrity or fitness as a CFP® professional, upon the CFP® marks, or upon the profession. Such conduct includes a personal bankruptcy or business bankruptcy filing or adjudication where the CFP® professional was a Control Person of the business, unless the CFP® professional can rebut the presumption that the bankruptcy demonstrates an inability to manage responsibly the CFP® professional’s or the business’s financial affairs. On November 16, 2020, Mr. Tuffley filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. CFP Board filed a Complaint for Single Bankruptcy on August 19, 2021. In his Answer to the Compliant, Mr. Tuffley admitted the bankruptcy but denied that the existence of the bankruptcy demonstrates an inability to manage responsibly his financial affairs. After a hearing on the matter, the Commission concluded that Mr. Tuffley did not rebut the presumption that his bankruptcy demonstrates an inability to manage responsibly his financial affairs. Although Mr. Tuffley stated that his becoming disabled precipitated his bankruptcy filing, he did not meet his burden to demonstrate that the bankruptcy was not a result of his inability to manage his finances prior to his disability. Accordingly, the Commission concluded that Mr. Tuffley violated Standard E.2.c. of the Code and Standards and issued to him an Order of Public Censure.

GEORGIA

Andres M. Romero, CFP® (Atlanta, Georgia): In March 2022, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order in which Mr. Romero received a Public Censure. The Commission determined that Mr. Romero violated Rule 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, which provides that a certificant shall not engage in conduct which reflects adversely on his integrity or fitness as a certificant, upon the CFP® marks, or upon the profession, when he incurred a tax liability for five years from 2012 to 2017, resulting in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filing three federal tax liens against him that totaled more than $167,000 with penalties and interest. As of the date of the hearing, Mr. Romero did not have an installment agreement with the IRS. Although Mr. Romero stated that his financial hardship was caused by the deliberate choice to take care of his parents when they were elderly and ill, a divorce, child support, and college tuition for his children also affected his ability to pay taxes. Accordingly, the Commission determined to issue Mr. Romero an Order of Public Censure.

NEW YORK

Jared Reinstein, CFP® (Ballston Lake, New York): In February 2022, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Reinstein entered into a Consent Order in which Mr. Reinstein agreed that CFP Board would issue a Public Censure and require him to complete four additional hours of continuing education as remedial work. In the Consent Order, Mr. Reinstein consented to findings that on April 12, 2021, he entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which imposed a one-month suspension and a $5,000 fine for violating FINRA Rule 2010 by effecting four securities transactions in September 2018 and January 2019, totaling $3,429.65, in two customers' accounts without obtaining the customers' authorization. Pursuant to the Consent Order, Mr. Reinstein also consented to findings that his conduct violated Rule 4.3 of the Rules of Conduct. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Reinstein an Order of Public Censure and required him to complete four additional hours of continuing education as remedial work in the principal topic areas of Professional Conduct and Regulation.

TEMPORARY BAR

CALIFORNIA

Amy Hung (Santa Clara, California): In March 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order temporarily barring Ms. Hung from applying for or obtaining the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day. This sanction followed Ms. Hung’s relinquishment of her certification and failure to acknowledge receipt of CFP Board’s Notice of Investigation, as required by Article 1.1 of the Procedural Rules. CFP Board sought to investigate Ms. Hung’s September 2020 termination from her firm. Under Article 4.1.a. of the Procedural Rules, Ms. Hung is deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Temporary Bar. Ms. Hung’s administrative temporary bar was effective as of April 13, 2022.

CONNECTICUT

Paul Valickus (Enfield, Connecticut): In March 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order temporarily barring Mr. Valickus from applying for or obtaining the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day. This sanction followed Mr. Valickus’ failure to acknowledge receipt of CFP Board’s Notice of Investigation, as required by Article 1.1 of the Procedural Rules. CFP Board sought to investigate 2019 and 2020 criminal charges against Mr. Valickus for possession of drug paraphernalia/THC and for Driving Under the Influence, respectively. Mr. Valickus’ conduct may have violated Rule 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, which provides that a certificant shall not engage in conduct that reflects adversely on his or her integrity or fitness as a CFP® professional, on the CFP® marks or on the profession. Under Article 4.1.a. of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Valickus is deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Temporary Bar. Mr. Valickus’ administrative temporary bar was effective as of April 13, 2022.

NEW YORK

Henry Yu Yeung Li (Bayside, New York): In February 2022, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) denied CFP® certification candidate Mr. Li’s Petition for Fitness Determination (Petition) and issued an Order of Temporary Bar prohibiting Mr. Li from applying for or obtaining the CFP® certification marks for two years. Prior to applying for CFP® certification, Mr. Li filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection on June 21, 2019 after his personal conduct led to him incurring more than $170,000 in debt. The Commission determined the bankruptcy filing and the personal conduct reflected adversely upon his fitness for CFP® certification, the profession, or the CFP® certification marks. Accordingly, the Commission issued Mr. Li an Order of Temporary Bar for two years, effective as of March 7, 2022.

Jai Ramsawak (New York, New York): In March 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order temporarily barring Mr. Ramsawak from applying for or obtaining the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day. This sanction followed Mr. Ramsawak’s failure to acknowledge receipt of CFP Board’s Notice of Investigation, as required by Article 1.1 of the Procedural Rules. CFP Board sought to investigate one civil judgment entered against Mr. Ramsawak in 2019, totaling $728,641. Mr. Ramsawak’s conduct may have violated Rule 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, which provides that a certificant shall not engage in conduct that reflects adversely on his or her integrity or fitness as a CFP® professional, on the CFP® marks or on the profession. Under Article 4.1.a. of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Ramsawak has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Temporary Bar. Mr. Ramsawak’s administrative temporary bar was effective as of April 13, 2022.

Utah

Kevin G. Bauer (Park City, Utah): In March 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order temporarily barring Mr. Bauer from applying for or obtaining the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day. This sanction followed Mr. Bauer’s relinquishment of his certification and failure to acknowledge receipt of CFP Board’s Notice of Investigation, as required by Article 1.1 of the Procedural Rules. CFP Board sought to investigate Mr. Bauer’s November 2020 felony conviction for Driving Under the Influence. Mr. Bauer’s conduct may have violated Standard E.2 of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, which provides that a CFP® professional may not engage in conduct that reflects adversely on his or her integrity or fitness as a CFP® professional, on the CFP® marks or on the profession. Under Article 4.1.a. of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Bauer has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Temporary Bar. Mr. Bauer’s administrative temporary bar was effective as of April 13, 2022.

SUSPENSION

Arizona

Tom Atchison (Phoenix, Arizona): In February 2022, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order suspending Mr. Atchison’s right to use the CFP® marks for three years. The Commission determined that Mr. Atchison violated CFP Board’s Pathway to CFP® Certification Agreement, which requires compliance with the CFP® Exam Retake Policy allowing candidates a maximum of five lifetime attempts at the CFP® Exam. After failing the CFP® Exam five times between November 2006 and March 2018 under the name “William Thomas Atchison” and with a unique CFP Board Identification Number associated with his original registration, Mr. Atchinson created a second CFP Board account in October 2019 under the name “Tom Atchison” and was given a second CFP Board Identification Number, allowing him to take the CFP® Exam a sixth time in November 2020. Mr. Atchison passed the CFP® Exam and CFP Board then granted him the CFP® certification prior to detecting his second registration. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Atchison an Order of Suspension for three years. Mr. Atchison’s suspension is effective from March 25, 2022 through March 25, 2025.

Guilford W. Nergard (Phoenix, Arizona): In February 2022, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Nergard entered into a Consent Order in which Mr. Nergard agreed that CFP Board would issue a three-month suspension of his right to use the CFP® certification marks. In the consent order, Mr. Nergard consented to findings that he violated Rules 4.3 and 5.1 of the Rules of Conduct and Standards A.1.b., A.4 and E.3 of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct based upon his: (1) written customer complaint, (2) termination, (3) Consent Order with the Arizona Corporation Commission for using discretion without authority, and (4) failure to disclose all of the above to CFP Board within 30 days. Pursuant to the consent order, Mr. Nergard failed to fully explain that his trading strategy in response to the COVID 2020 markets in a fee-based account would require a significant amount of trading and cause the client to receive numerous confirmations. By failing to fully explain the trading strategy to the client, Mr. Nergard did not provide Professional Services in a thorough manner. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Nergard a suspension for three months. Mr. Nergard’s suspension is effective from February 18, 2022 until May 19, 2022.

CALIFORNIA

Michael E. Denzinger (Newport Beach, California): In March 2022, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Denzinger entered into a Consent Order in which Mr. Denzinger agreed that CFP Board would issue a suspension of one year and one day. In the Consent Order, Mr. Denzinger consented to CFP Board’s findings that Mr. Denzinger violated Rule 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct and Standard E.2 of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, which state that a CFP® professional may not engage in conduct which reflects adversely on his or her integrity or fitness as a certificant, upon the CFP® marks, or upon the profession, when he was convicted of Driving Under the Influence in 2015 and again in 2021. The Commission also considered that CFP Board had previously cautioned Mr. Denzinger against violations of Rule 6.5 relating to similar conduct. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Denzinger an Order of Suspension for one year and one day. Mr. Deniziger’s suspension was effective from March 29, 2022 through March 30, 2023.

J. Michael Stephens (Saratoga, California): In February 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order suspending Mr. Stephens’ right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day. This sanction followed Mr. Stephens’ failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board alleged that Mr. Stephens failed to satisfy his Duty of Cooperation by refusing to respond to CFP Board’s requests for information and a Notice of Failure to Cooperate. CFP Board sought to investigate federal and state tax liens issued against him in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Mr. Stephens failed to report the federal and state tax liens to CFP Board. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Stephens’ conduct violated Standard E.5 of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct. Mr. Stephens failed to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 30 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules. Under Article 4.1.b. of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Stephens has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Suspension. Mr. Stephens’ administrative suspension was effective as of March 12, 2022.

GEORGIA

Debasish Hajra (Marietta, Georgia): In February 2022, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Hajra entered into a Consent Order in which Mr. Hajra agreed that CFP Board would issue a three-month suspension of his right to use the CFP® certification marks. In the Consent Order, Mr. Hajra consented to findings that he violated Rule 5.1 of the Rules of Conduct when he violated his firm's policy by effecting trades in a client account based upon prior verbal authorization, while being unaware the client had died. Additionally, Mr. Hajra consented to findings that he violated Rule 4.3 of the Rules of Conduct when he entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in which he consented to FINRA' s findings that he violated FINRA Rule 2010 by effecting trades without prior verbal authorization. FINRA imposed a 30-day suspension and a $5,000 fine. Accordingly, the Commission suspended Mr. Hajra's certification for three months. Mr. Hajra's suspension is effective from February 24, 2022 until May 24, 2022

MISSOURI

Scott S. Niekamp (Wildwood, Missouri): In March 2022, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Niekamp entered into a Consent Order in which Mr. Niekamp agreed that CFP Board would issue a one-year and one-day suspension of his right to use the CFP® certification marks. In the Consent Order, Mr. Niekamp consented to findings that he: (a) engaged in two Outside Business Activities (OBAs) without providing prior written notice to his member firm and made false statements regarding his OBAs on six compliance questionnaires, which violated Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rules 2010 and 3270, Missouri law, and Rule 4.3 of the Rules of Conduct; (b) made, along with his wife, two loans totaling $450,000 to a firm customer without notifying or obtaining prior approval from the firm and falsely stated on a compliance questionnaire that he had not loaned money to a firm customer, which violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 3240(a), Missouri law, and Rules 3.7 and 4.3 of the Rules of Conduct; and (c) violated numerous firm policies and procedures, including those relating to referral fees, OBAs, selling away, and loans to clients, which violated Rule 5.1 of the Rules of Conduct. As a result of his conduct, FINRA and the State of Missouri suspended Mr. Niekamp for three months. The Commission issued to Mr. Niekamp a suspension for one year and one day. Mr. Niekamp’s suspension is effective from March 29, 2022 until March 30, 2023.

WASHINGTON

Martin Sobolewski (Shoreline, Washington): In March 2022, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Sobolewski entered into a Consent Order in which Mr. Sobolewski agreed that CFP Board would issue a suspension of one year. Pursuant to the Consent Order, CFP Board found that Mr. Sobolewski violated Section 3 of the Pathway to CFP® Certification Agreement by failing to disclose three incidents involving Driving under the Influence (DUI) when responding to direct questions soliciting information about his DUI on the Ethics Declaration portion of his Initial Application for CFP® certification. As a result, Mr. Sobolewski was able to obtain CFP® certification without consideration of those events. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Sobolewski a suspension for one year. Mr. Sobolewski’s suspension is effective from March 23, 2022 until March 23, 2023.

PERMANENT BAR

NEW JERSEY

Joseph R. Soccio (West Caldwell, New Jersey): In January 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order permanently barring Mr. Soccio from applying for or obtaining CFP® certification. This sanction followed Mr. Soccio’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint alleging that Mr. Soccio violated the Terms and Conditions of Certification and License by refusing to respond to CFP Board’s requests for information and a Notice of Failure to Cooperate. CFP Board sought to investigate Mr. Soccio’s failure to pay his federal tax obligations for several years, which resulted in the issuance of a federal tax lien and a total outstanding debt to the IRS of approximately $135,000. Mr. Soccio failed to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 30 calendar days as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules. Under Article 4.1.b. of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Soccio has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Permanent Bar. Mr. Soccio’s administrative permanent bar was effective as of February 18, 2022.

NEW YORK

Elliott Bruce Nadel (New York, New York): In January 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order permanently barring Mr. Nadel from applying for or obtaining CFP® certification. This sanction followed Mr. Nadel’s failure to timely file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint alleging that Mr. Nadel violated Standard E.5 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct by refusing to respond to CFP Board’s requests for information and a Notice of Failure to Cooperate. CFP Board sought to investigate Mr. Nadel’s 1999 and 2010 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings and Mr. Nadel’s failure to disclose his 2010 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing to CFP Board. Mr. Nadel failed to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 30 calendar days as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules. Under Article 4.1.b. of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Nadel has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Permanent Bar. Mr. Nadel’s administrative permanent bar was effective as of February 14, 2022.

REVOCATION

FLORIDA

Ralph Schlosser (Largo, Florida): In March 2021, CFP Board issued an administrative order permanently revoking Mr. Schlosser’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This sanction followed Mr. Schlosser’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Schlosser (1) failed to pay federal taxes for 16 separate tax years, resulting in federal tax liens totaling $859,326.62; (2) entered into a 2016 Final Order with the Florida Office of Financial Regulations finding that he failed to disclose federal tax liens on his Form U4 and that Mr. Schlosser’s employment had been terminated by his former broker-dealer because he was evasive in responding to the employer’s requests that he provide proof of satisfaction of tax liens that he claimed were paid; (3) made misrepresentations to clients and potential clients about his credentials and professional designations on his company’s website; and (4) failed to disclose all of the above-referenced matters to CFP Board. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Schlosser’s conduct violated Rules 2.1, 4.3 and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct. Under Article 4.1.b. of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Schlosser has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Mr. Schlosser’s administrative revocation was effective as of April 18, 2021.

Gerard F. Stellwagen (Venice, Florida): In December 2021, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Stellwagen entered into a Consent Order in which Mr. Stellwagen agreed that CFP Board would revoke his right to use the CFP® certification marks. In the Consent Order, Mr. Stellwagen consented to findings that he has been charged with ten counts of possession of child sexual abuse material, a third-degree felony in the State of Florida (charges which remain pending and to which Mr. Stellwagen has pled Not Guilty). Mr. Stellwagen also consented that the filing of such charges against him violates Standard E.2.a. of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Stellwagen an Order of Revocation permanently revoking his rights to hold the CFP® certification marks. Mr. Stellwagen's revocation was effective as of December 16, 2021

Georgia

Sapna B. Patel (Lawrenceville, Georgia): In March 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order permanently revoking Ms. Patel’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This sanction followed Ms. Patel’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board alleged that in June 2016, a client filed a civil lawsuit against Ms. Patel in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, asserting claims related to professional services that Ms. Patel had provided. Ms. Patel entered into a settlement agreement with the client to resolve the civil lawsuit. In December 2017, a Consent Final Judgment was entered against Ms. Patel in Superior Court, Fulton County, Georgia for failing to make payments under the settlement agreement. CFP Board also alleged that Ms. Patel made a false statement to CFP Board on her Ethics Declaration by failing to disclose that she was a defendant in the civil lawsuit. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Ms. Patel’s conduct violated Rules 4.1, 6.5 and 6.2 of the Rules of Conduct which, respectively, require certificants to treat clients fairly and provide professional services with integrity and objectivity, to refrain from conduct that reflects adversely, and to meet all CFP Board requirements to retain the right to use the CFP® marks. Ms. Patel failed to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 30 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules. Under Article 4.1.b. of the Procedural Rules, Ms. Patel has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Ms. Patel’s administrative revocation was effective as of April 11, 2022.

Carrie Wisniewski (Norcross, Georgia): In March 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order permanently revoking Ms. Wisniewski’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This sanction followed Ms. Wisniewski’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board alleged that Ms. Wisniewski entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in which she agreed to the following: (i) a one-month suspension from association with any FINRA member in a Financial and Operations Principal (FINOP) capacity; (ii) a requirement to re-qualify as a FINOP by taking the requisite examination; and (iii) a $10,000 fine for violating FINRA Rules 4110(b), 4511 and 2010. CFP Board also alleged that, according to FINRA’s findings, from October 2016 through June 2017 in her capacity as a firm offsite FINOP, Ms. Wisniewski: (i) permitted the firm to conduct a securities business while below its net capital requirement; (ii) failed to prepare timely net capital computations; (iii) filed inaccurate Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single (FOCUS) reports on behalf of the firm; (iv) failed to file timely notifications of the firm’s net capital deficiencies; and (v) caused the firm to maintain inaccurate books and records. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Ms. Wisniewski’s conduct violated Rule 4.3 of the Rules of Conduct by failing to comply with applicable regulatory requirements governing professional services. CFP Board also alleged that Ms. Wisniewski violated Rule 6.2 of the Rules of Conduct by failing to disclose the AWC to CFP Board. Ms. Wisniewski failed to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 30 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules. Under Article 4.1.b. of the Procedural Rules, Ms. Wisniewski has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Ms. Wisniewski’s administrative revocation was effective as of April 13, 2022.

MISSOURI

Brent Spicuzza (Chesterfield, Missouri): In June 2021, CFP Board issued an administrative order permanently revoking Mr. Spicuzza’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This sanction followed Mr. Spicuzza’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Spicuzza entered into a Consent Order with the Missouri Commissioner of Securities (Missouri) finding that Mr. Spicuzza violated state securities laws when he: (1) failed to timely disclose outside business activities (OBAs) to his then employing firm on multiple occasions in violation of firm policy; (2) failed to timely amend his Form U4 to disclose OBAs on multiple occasions and caused an application to be filed with the Missouri Securities Division that was materially false; and (3) failed to have an investment adviser representative registered and filed an application with the Missouri Securities Division on behalf of a firm that was materially false. Mr. Spicuzza was assessed a fine of $15,000, placed under heightened supervision and disqualified from exercising any supervisory authority. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Spicuzza’s conduct violated Rules 4.3, 5.1 and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct. Mr. Spicuzza failed to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 30 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules. Under Article 4.1.b. of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Spicuzza has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Mr. Spicuzza’s administrative revocation was effective as of June 8, 2021.

OREGON

Jeremy T. Armitage (Happy Valley, Oregon): In January 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order permanently revoking Mr. Armitage’s rights to use the CFP® certification marks. This sanction followed Mr. Armitage’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Armitage violated Standard E.5 of CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct when he failed to satisfy his Duty of Cooperation by refusing to respond to CFP Board’s requests for information and a Notice of Failure to Cooperate. CFP Board sought to investigate Mr. Armitage’s 2009 and 2018 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings. Mr. Armitage failed to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 30 calendar days as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules. Under Article 4.1.b. of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Armitage has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Mr. Armitage’s administrative revocation was effective as of February 14, 2022.

PENNSYLVANIA

Robert J. Knox (Du Bois, Pennsylvania): In March 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order permanently revoking Mr. Knox’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This sanction followed Mr. Knox’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board alleged that in January 2018, Mr. Knox entered into a Consent Agreement and Order (Pennsylvania Consent Order) with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities for effecting securities transactions in Pennsylvania while neither registered nor exempt from registration as an agent, in willful violation of Pennsylvania securities laws. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Knox’s conduct violated Rule 4.3 of the Rules of Conduct by failing to comply with applicable regulatory requirements governing professional services. CFP Board also alleged that Mr. Knox violated Rule 6.2 of the Rules of Conduct by failing to disclose the Pennsylvania Consent Order to CFP Board within 30 days. Mr. Knox failed to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 30 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules. Under Article 4.1.b. of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Knox has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Mr. Knox’s administrative revocation was effective as of April 13, 2022.

William T. Reynard (King of Prussia, Pennsylvania): In March 2022, CFP Board issued an administrative order permanently revoking Mr. Reynard’s right to use the CFP® certification marks. This sanction followed Mr. Reynard’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board alleged that Mr. Reynard violated Rule 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, which requires certificants to refrain from conduct that reflects adversely, when he was convicted of Sexual Abuse of Children, a second-degree felony, in April 2021 at the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Reynard failed to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 30 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules. Under Article 4.1.b. of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Reynard has been deemed in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Mr. Reynard’s administrative revocation was effective as of April 15, 2022.

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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 as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 92,000 people in the United States.

contact

Joseph Feese
Director of Public Relations
202-379-2305
media@cfpboard.org