The CFP Board has revoked certifications for four planners and punished 14 in total for a wide variety of infractions -- ranging from alleged possession of child pornography to taking a test for a supervisor.
Punishment ranged from public letters of sanction to suspensions, interim suspensions and permanent revocation.
The board suspended Fort Myers, Fla.-based William G. Whitcomb's right to use his certification for five years -- until April 11, 2019 -- after he was arrested for allegedly possessing child pornography; Whitcomb pleaded no contest and was sentenced to three years of felony probation, the CFP Board says. He also failed to respond to multiple requests from the board for information and documentation, the board says. Whitcomb's office telephone number was out of order and could not be reached for comment.
Shawn M. Wyatt, of Hutchinson, Texas, received a public letter of sanction for accepting compensation from his supervisor for taking a mandatory annuity training course on her behalf. He was also fined $5,000 and suspended from the industry for 31 days, according to the board. Reached by phone, Wyatt said he preferred not to comment.
The four permanent revocations, according to the board, include:
- Shawn R. Gutierrez of Yuba City, Calif.: The board says Gutierrez failed to respond to the board's complaint alleging that he had exhibited a pattern of criminal conduct from 2009 to 2012, and that he was convicted for vandalism and domestic battery. The board deemed Gutierrez had violated its rules of conduct. Gutierrez could not be reached for comment.
- Dawn L. Muldrow of Indianapolis: Muldrow failed to answer a CFP Board complaint -- which alleged that she had a 2009 tax warrant and civil judgments in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 -- within the required time period, the board says. The board also found that she violated its rules of conduct. Muldrow could not be reached for comment.
- Donald G. DeWaay Jr. of Clive, Iowa: The board alleged that DeWaay engaged in a pattern of recommending and selling his clients unsuitable tenant-in-common interests, private placements and REITs, and claimed he also made misleading, exaggerated and unwarranted statements to clients and/or prospective clients regarding a private placement offering. DeWaay failed to answer the board's complaint within the required time period, the board says. Mark Davis, the chief compliance officer for DeWaay's firm, DeWaay Capital Management, says that DeWaay looked at the time it would have taken to respond to the board's complaint and made a business decision not to defend himself. "I think if we had sat down and spent the significant amount of time that it would have taken [to defend DeWaay], I'm not sure that it would have turned out exactly as it did," Davis said. "We felt our energies were better spent elsewhere."
- Barbara Stark of Eden Prairie, Minn.: Stark failed to answer a board complaint within the required time period, the board says, after it board alleged that Stark misappropriated and transferred assets from approximately 21 client accounts to new accounts at a different firm, used improper addresses for clients and allowed a paraplanner to operate a tax preparation service out of her office, among other accusations. According to the state of Minnesota's Department of Commerce, Stark and an associate exploited vulnerable adults and elderly clients, causing them or their employer losses of $930,000. Efforts to reach Stark were unsuccessful.
The CFP Board issued lesser punishments as well.
In addition to Wyatt, other advisors who the board says received public "letters of admonition" from the board include Brian W. Sak, of Magnolia, Texas; George M. Warner of Rockwall, Texas; and Christina V. Winch of Appleton, Wis.
Those receiving interim suspensions include Jacob K. Cooper of San Diego and Carolyn C. Kaufman of Hudson, Ohio. William F. Kovacic of Palos Heights, Ill., received first an interim suspension and, later, a suspension.
The board also says it has suspended the certifications of Susan C. Cromwell of Valencia, Calif., and Howard A. Slater of Solon, Ohio, along with Whitcomb.
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