The CFP Board of Standards handed down disciplinary actions against 27 financial planners who use the CFP mark, the board announced on Tuesday.
The sweeping move affected financial planners in 14 states, and is the largest number of sanctions that the CFP Board has issued in three years, Dan Drummond, a CFP Board spokesman said in a telephone interview Wednesday morning.
Last year, the CFP Board sanctioned 61 advisors.
Eight of the financial advisors had their rights to use the CFP mark permanently revoked. It is the CFP Board’s most severe sanction. Except in cases where specific criminal charges that led to the CFP mark revocation are overturned, or a lost professional license has been restored, the CFP Board would not consider reissuing revoked CFP marks, Drummond said. The group does not have a record of either scenario ever happening.
Matthew D. Weitzman, in Armonk, N.Y., was guilty of the worst infractions. He pleaded guilty to one felony count of investment adviser fraud, two felony counts of securities fraud, and five felony counts of wire fraud, in a federal case. [http://www.financial-planning.com/news/weitzman-fraud-afw-wealth-advisors-2662236-1.html ] According to the CFP Board, Weitzman submitted false documents to a brokerage firm that seemed to confer his clients’ authorization for him to obtain the money.
Gene Baynes in San Diego, Calif., also had his CFP mark revoked. He had been found guilty of assault and disorderly conduct charges, and who filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 1993 and 2009. Craig Brockman, in Plano, Texas, apparently lost his CFP mark because he failed to file a client’s tax returns in a timely manner. The client subsequently incurred penalties.
Other advisors who permanently lost the right to use the CFP mark included Thomas W. Laundrie, in Garden City, N.Y.; Joseph D. Bonanno, in Canton, Ohio; David W. Gwynn, in Eugene, Oregon; Jo Rae Perkins in Albany, Oregon; and Brian Y. Horne in El Paso, Texas.
The CFP Board suspended ten of the financial planners’ rights to use the mark, including David B. Garrison of Tonopah, Arizona. Garrison had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and had his CFP mark suspended for one year an one day. Henry T. Goode, in Melbourne, Fla., was suspended for three years, because he failed to execute a client’s trade order and was, therefore, terminated from his broker dealer.
Other professionals who received suspensions were Andrew W. MacGill, of Tampa, Fla.; William F. Cole, in California, Md.; Robert L. O’Neil, in Medford, Mass.; David Chin in New York, N.Y.; Bradley K. Adams, in Newtown, Penn.; Lance R. McCollum, in Itasca, Texas; and Carol A. Geske, in South Burlington, Vt.
The organization also said it issued eight letters of admonition to CFP designees. Kirk L. Gravelle, in Jacksonville, Fla., received one. A CFP Board investigation determined that Gravelle intentionally misidentified solicited transactions as unsolicited, to try to circumvent the “Do Not Solicit” list at his firm, Morgan Stanley & Co. The firm also suspended and fined Gravelle for the infraction, according to the CFP Board.
Richard Konst, in Chicago, was sanctioned following investigations into allegations that he did market timing in the mutual fund sub-accounts of a client’s variable annuities. Other letters of admonition were handed down to David P. Globig, in Spring Arbor, Mich.; Todd M. Dudonis, in East Northpoint, N.Y.; Joseph L. Downey, in Massapequa Park, N.Y.; Scott M. Fitzgerald, in Melville, N.Y.; Linnie L. Phebus, in Austin, Texas and Robert P. Aamodt, in Farmington, Utah.
Algird M. Norkus, in Oak Brook, Ill., received the only interim suspension among the lot. The sanction against Norkus happened because the Illinois Securities Department issued a temporary order of prohibition and suspension of registration for alleged fraud in the sale of securities. Also, there were allegations from the Securities and Exchange Commission that Norkus fraudulently sold promissory notes to clients.