The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has announced sanctions against 25 current or former certified financial planners for various violations of the profession’s ethical standards.
The board issued a news release on the enforcement actions, which were imposed for violations that included regulatory actions, bankruptcies, arbitrations and civil court litigation that involve professional conduct, civil judgments and tax liens.
Of the professionals who were sanctioned, three advisors were publicly censured, one was temporarily barred, four received administrative temporary bars, one received an administrative suspension, six were suspended, two received administrative permanent bars, seven received administrative revocations and in the most severe penalty, one had his right to use the CFP marks revoked.
That sanction was taken against Gerard F. Stellwagen of Venice, Florida, who had his rights to hold the CFP® certification marks permanently revoked as of December 16. Stellwagen consented to findings that he had been charged with 10 counts of possession of child sexual abuse material, a third-degree felony in Florida. The CFP board said Stellwagen pleaded not guilty to the pending charges. He also consented that the filing of such charges against him violates board standards and the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.
Two advisors, Sapna Patel of Lawrenceville, Georgia and Brent Spicuzza of Chesterfield, Missouri, received an administrative order of revocation for failing to answer to the board’s complaints.
As part of their certification, CFP® professionals make a commitment to abide by the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct. Any alleged violations are investigated by the board and when there is probable cause to believe there are grounds for sanction, a complaint is filed with the board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission. If the Commission determines there are grounds for sanction, then it may impose a sanction
Members of the public can view any individual’s CFP Board disciplinary history and CFP certification status by checking CFP.net/verify.
The attorneys at Lewitas Hyman represent advisors, brokers and other financial professionals in all matters involving the CFP Board, including CFP Board investigations. Headquartered in Chicago, our securities attorneys represent clients nationwide. For more information relating to CFP Board investigations and discipline or other matters, contact Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655 6002 or through our online contact form for a free consultation.