The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has announced public sanctions against 12 current or former CFP® professionals who were found to have violated the profession’s ethical standards.
The CFP Board’s sanctions, in order of increasing severity, included two public censures, one temporary bar, six permanent bars, and three 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 Susan Honig of Valley Village, California. The CFP Board said she failed to file an answer to its complaint within the required time frame of 30 calendar days. The board alleged that Honig failed to cooperate with its investigation regarding her “lack of diligence in corresponding with her clients and answering inquiries that came into her office.” She was found to be in violation of Standard E.5 of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, which requires CFP professionals to fully cooperate with the CFP Board’s investigations and disciplinary proceedings. Her administrative revocation was effective Nov. 23, 2022.
The five individuals who received a permanent bar included Fred D. Rouse III of Dresher, Pennsylvania, who will be barred from applying for or obtaining the CFP® certification marks. The CFP Board said Rouse made misleading statements, such as claiming that individuals could be “100% certain” to have all the money they needed to retire in “Just 3-5 Years,” on his website and in a YouTube video created to advertise his retirement planning program. The board said the YouTube video was misleading because it appeared to be a news broadcast but was actually a paid advertisement. Rouse failed to provide information requested by the CFP Board in connection with its investigation, and his permanent bar became effective Oct. 20, 2022.
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 (844) 651-2641 or through our online contact form for a free consultation.