The CFP Board permanently revoked the right of William B. Smith of Grafton, Mass., to use the CFP designation after investigating allegations that he fraudulently used $1.2 million in client’s money for his own benefit and moved $25,000 from another client to his own account.
In the former incident, the suit filed in United States District Court in Maine was settled out of court for undisclosed terms, according to Smith’s lawyer Louis Ciavarra of Bowditch & Dewey in Boston, Mass.
“In my opinion, this case was completely meritless,” Ciavarra said. “It’s an example of how you can destroy someone’s reputation by making allegations. I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I’ve represented bad guys before and as far as I know, that was not Bill.”
Ciavarra says he would have liked to have argued Smith’s case before the CFP Board but presumes that his client could not afford to retain him. Calls to Smith were not returned. Ciavarra said he did not have information about the case involving the allegedly misappropriated $25,000.
In the settled case, a client in Smith’s firm, Catharine C. Lund of Falmouth, Maine, filed charges against Smith after he arranged a 1031 exchange following the sale of two of her properties located in East Blue Hill, Maine, according to a filing with the court. In the filing, Lund alleges that Smith should not have guided her to invest $1.2 million into the building in Grafton where his office was located.