The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has announced public sanctions against 33 current or former CFP® professionals for violations of the profession’s ethical standards.
The CFP Board’s sanctions, in order of increasing severity, included six public censures, seven suspensions, one temporary bar, three permanent bars, and seven revocations of the right to use the CFP® marks. The enforcement actions were effective immediately or on the date noted in each case.
Among those subjected to the most severe penalty, revocation, was Ronald Niederpruem of Gunnison, Colorado. It was alleged that he failed to register as an investment adviser in Hawaii while continuing to provide investment advice for over 10 years, and intentionally failed to file annual audited financial statements for about 10 years. The CFP Board took its action after Niederpruem failed to file an answer to the board’s complaint within the required time frame.
Another planner whose license was revoked was Mark Andrew Trewitt of Gordonville, Texas. Trewitt and the CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission entered into a consent order in which the board said Trewitt “consented to findings that he violated Rules 4.3, 4.5 and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct when he made unsuitable recommendations to customers, some of whom were seniors, to invest in risky and illiquid investments, such as private placements and real estate investment trusts, in inappropriate concentrations.”
The CFP Board also issued a revocation against Heather L. Guilliom of Tucson, Arizona. The board said she failed to respond in time to its complaint that she allegedly filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2016, that she was convicted of misdemeanor DUI in September 2017 and that she was convicted for felony endangerment and misdemeanor DUI in June 2019.
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.
Lewitas Hyman PC represents advisors, brokers and other financial professional 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.