CFP board hands out 33 penalties to financial planners
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards today announced sanctions against 33 current or former certified financial planners for various violations, in one case revoking the license of a planner who the board says uttered the term “white power.” and directed it against a person of color running for city council.
The penalties, effective immediately or on the date specified in each case, include public censures, suspensions, temporary bans, permanent bans and revocations of the right to use the CFP marks, the CFP Board said. Under the board’s disciplinary code, permanent bans apply to planners who do not currently hold the CFP mark, while revocations apply to CFP holders.
A total of six planners were publicly censored, one was temporarily banned, seven were suspended, three received permanent bans and seven had their right to use CFP marks revoked, the board said.
David Lynn Medlin of North Richland Hills, Texas had his right to use the CFP certification marks revoked after failing to respond in time to the board’s complaint that he addressed the term “white power” to a candidate for the local city council. The council’s complaint said Medlin used the term twice, on April 24 and April 26, 2021. The second incident was captured on cellphone video, the council said. Medlin’s conduct violated the board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, which the board said “require a CFP professional to treat others with dignity, courtesy, and respect.” Medlin, which operated Maven Wealth Consulting LLC, was with LPL Financial for five years until June 2021, according to BrokerCheck. The revocation of his CFP ratings went into effect in July 2022.
Ronald Niederpruem of Gunnison, Colorado, also had his license revoked because he failed to respond in time to the board’s complaint that he provided investment advice while unregistered. . The board said Niederpruem failed to register as an investment adviser representative in Hawaii while continuing to provide investment advice for more than 10 years. It also intentionally failed to file annual audited financial statements for about 10 years, the board said. Niederpruem’s registration as an investment adviser representative and his company’s registration as an investment adviser have been revoked by Hawaii, the board said. The revocation of its right to use the CFP marks went into effect on June 27.
The board also revoked the license of Tucson, Arizona resident Heather L. Guilliom for failing to respond in time to a board complaint she allegedly filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2016 that she was convicted of misdemeanor DUI in September 2017 and that she was convicted of felony endangerment and misdemeanor DUI in June 2019. The board said Guilliom violated its rules that CFPs cannot engage in conduct which poorly reflects its brands. His CFP revocation went into effect on July 8.
Roderick L. Whited of Gainesville, Florida has been permanently barred from applying for or obtaining CFP marks. The board said Whited, who was banned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in November 2021, failed to acknowledge receipt of the CFP Board’s Notice of Investigation and failed to provide evidence of compliance. council’s temporary suspension order. The board noted he consented to Finra Bar after the agency discovered he had converted $44,170 into charitable donations from a pediatric cancer charity, deposited the donated funds in his bank account personal, then used the funds to pay for personal expenses. The council sought to investigate Finra’s order, but Whited did not respond and was found to be in default, at which time a permanent ban was issued. Whited’s permanent administrative bar went into effect on August 16.
Nicholas Spagnoletti Jr. of Madison, NJ, was also permanently barred from applying for or obtaining the CFP certification marks. In August 2021, Spagnoletti, an adviser to Wealth Enhancement Group and LPL Financial, was arrested and charged with possession and distribution of child pornography and was charged with endangering the welfare of children. The council said in a complaint that it had not cooperated with its investigation into the criminal charges (and had not filed a prompt response to the complaint). His permanent administrative ban has been in effect since July 22.
Kendrick G. Smith of Pine Mountain, Georgia was also permanently banned. The board said it had not cooperated with its investigation into his Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in January. The bar follows its relinquishment of its certification and its failure to file a timely response to the complaint. Kendrick’s permanent admin bar went into effect August 15.
David J. Campanella of Hudson, Ohio was permanently barred from applying for or obtaining the CFP certification marks after failing to provide evidence to the board that he had complied with an interim suspension order automatic that the board had issued in April. The sanction came after the board learned that Finra had banned Campanella in February from partnering with a member firm. The board said Campanella, which was being investigated by Finra for allegedly having undisclosed outside brokerage accounts while associated with its member firm, provided inaccurate and incomplete information in response to the complaint. investigation and subsequently consented to a ban. The board said that despite being required to do so, Campanella had failed to provide evidence that it had ceased using the CFP certification marks and informed its business and customers of the interim suspension. His permanent administrative ban went into effect on August 15.
Among those who received a suspension was Chris B. Steele of Clive, Iowa. The suspension, which bars Steele from the right to use the CFP certification marks for one year and one day, was issued following his failure to respond in a timely manner to his allegations that he pleaded guilty to DUI , his fourth alcohol-related offence, led the board to say that his “integrity or fitness” as a CFP professional and his grades were poor and that he violated the code of ethics and standards of conduct of the advice. The CFP board also said Steele failed to disclose the charge and conviction and made a false or misleading statement to the board “by submitting an inaccurate ethics statement.” His administrative suspension has been effective since July 6.
Those who issued a public censure include Joseph A. Gross of West Sand Lake, NY. The board said that in August Gross entered into a consent order with the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission in which he agreed to find that he had been convicted of criminally importing a controlled product. substance (Oxycodone) in January. He also acknowledged that his conduct violated the Standards and Conduct of the Board of Directors, “which provides that a CFP professional may not engage in conduct that is detrimental to him or her.”
The full list of Disciplined Persons is as follows: