CFP Board Censures 22 CFPS!

CFP Board Takes Action Against 22 Financial Professionals!

Hello, my name is Emily Carter, and I am both a financial analyst and writer with a keen insight into the finance sector. Keeping up to date with the codes and moral principles of certified financial planners (CFP®) is essential. In a recent development, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) imposed penalties on 22 CFP® professionals and aspiring members for a variety of ethical violations. The significance of holding advisors responsible is underscored by a well-known saying: “A good reputation is built on numerous positive actions, yet it can be destroyed by a single negative one.” – Benjamin Franklin.

The CFP Board conducted in-depth “Historical Inspections” to sift through allegations of professional misconduct, including firm terminations, client complaints, and dubious conduct. They strictly adhere to their own CFP Board Procedural Rules when determining if violations have occurred, emphasizing their dedication to ethical enforcement within their ranks.

For those curious about the process, after finding probable cause, the CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission receives a formal complaint. The commission meets several times yearly to examine each case on its own merits, thus ensuring fair treatment for all involved.

Let me walk you through some notable examples to demonstrate the importance of maintaining high ethical standards in our field:


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Derrik J. Hubbard CFP®, Valencia, California: Hubbard faced penalties for not filing his federal taxes on time from 2013 to 2018. He had previously broken an IRS agreement but has since rectified this, complying with a new payment plan. Despite paying off his tax debts, his behavior went against Rule 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, reflecting poorly on the profession’s integrity.


Matthew M. Chancey, Tampa, Florida: Chancey was censured for failing to timely settle tax obligations over six years, resulting in IRS tax liens of over $130,000. His conduct violated Rule 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, which brought into question his professional integrity. In addition to the censure, he must provide progress reports to the CFP Board.


Robert J. Hannah CFP®, Mound, Minnesota: Hannah received a censure for a DUI conviction and misleading the CFP Board on an ethics disclosure form. His actions breached rules requiring CFP® certificate holders to maintain honesty and protect the CFP® marks’ prestige.


Ryan C. Judd, Wentzville, Missouri: Judd admitted to filing for bankruptcy and acknowledged that this reflected poorly on his financial responsibility. As such, he received a Public Censure for failing to uphold the standards expected of a CFP® professional.


Richard A. Rainone, Cranston, Rhode Island: Rainone consented to a Public Censure after he did not exercise professional judgment in handling client services. He filled out and notarized a client’s beneficiary form with missing details, a substantial lapse in diligence and attentiveness required by his role.

Instances like these remind us that choosing a financial advisor isn’t something to be taken lightly. It’s alarming but true that over 7,000 FINRA registered advisors have been cited for misconduct, according to some reports. A bad financial advisor can be detrimental to your financial health. That’s why it’s essential to always verify a financial advisor’s standing, which you can conveniently do through their FINRA BrokerCheck (click here to access a financial advisor’s FINRA CRD number).

As a financial analyst, I advocate for transparency and adherence to ethical standards. We must hold ourselves accountable and insist on integrity from all our peers. It’s through actions like the CFP Board’s that we can maintain trust and reliability in our field, acknowledging that financial guidance should always place the client’s interests foremost.

I hope this peek behind the curtain helps underscore the gravity of financial ethics and the diligence we all should exhibit when engaging with professionals within this sphere. Stay informed, verify credentials, and never hesitate to demand the highest standards from your financial advisors. Our financial wellbeing depends on it.As a financial analyst and writer, it’s crucial to emphasize that our financial decisions and those who advise us on them have far-reaching consequences. Let’s discuss a few cases of misconduct in the finance industry to draw attention to the importance of integrity and transparency.

Recently, Mr. Ranone found himself amid a controversy for signing a client’s beneficiary form without proper authorization. Despite quickly correcting the issue, his actions were, frankly, outside the expected conduct and resulted in family litigation and a Public Censure from the Commission. This serves as a reminder that in our line of work, attention to detail is not just a courtesy, it’s a requirement.

In another instance, Mr. Brian Lockhart from Massachusetts faced suspension due to a clear conflict of interest: he pushed a child support trust to invest in a project he was financially involved in, without disclosing his interests. It’s a flagrant breach of fiduciary duty when an advisor prioritizes personal gain over a client’s financial well-being. The Commission didn’t take this lightly and imposed a suspension.

Let’s not forget about Mr. Nathan D. Sealey from Michigan, suspended after failing to settle his federal taxes—a whopping sum exceeding $436,000. His certification was suspended, too, highlighting that a financial professional’s personal financial responsibility is as paramount as their professional advice.

Over in New York, Mr. David Samet and Mr. James Wright faced suspensions for failing to fulfill tax obligations and a slew of violations from using unapproved communication methods for business, respectively. These cases underscore that being transparent, law-abiding, and following established procedures are non-negotiable standards for our profession.

And lastly, in Pennsylvania, Mr. Timothy Seiders’ suspension came after a staggering nine consecutive years of tax liabilities and subsequent state and federal liens against him. His actions projected a negative reflection on the integrity of our profession.

It’s a fact that a bad financial advisor could cost you more than just money; they could seriously damage your long-term financial health. According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Advisers steer investors towards high-fee, actively managed funds and funds with high past returns.” These funds, unfortunately, are often detrimental to clients’ interests. Therefore, checking your advisor’s credibility through their [FINRA CRM number]( could be one of your best financial moves.

Poor financial guidance not only causes monetary setback, but it delegitimizes the profession I’m passionate about. As Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Such is the case with financial advising; a lapse in judgment can lead to years of rebuilding trust.

In conclusion, I believe it is crucial to conduct due diligence when choosing a financial advisor. Verifying their credentials, experience, and adhering to ethical standards is essential. As a financial analyst, I strive to break down these complex issues and guide you to make informed decisions. Together, let’s maintain the integrity and trust that is the foundation of the financial world.Hello, I’m Emily Carter, a financial analyst and writer with a passion for turning the complex world of finance into straightforward concepts that everyday people can understand and act upon. Today, I’d like to discuss a topic that’s important for anyone seeking financial advice: the significance of credentials and the potential pitfalls when financial professionals fall short of their ethical obligations.

Let me share a story exemplifying the importance of trust and ethics in the finance world. In California, an individual named Murray Todd Petersen faced a temporary bar lasting four years, ending on October 4th, 2025. Petersen had offered investment opportunities in gemstones that were neither registered nor as low-risk as he claimed. It’s sobering to realize that he assured investors they’d reel in a minimum of 30% profit, which was far from the truth. Ethical standards matter in finance, and it’s crucial to work with advisors who uphold them. To ensure the integrity of your financial guides, you can check their records through the FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Now, it’s worth noting the difference between a temporary bar and a permanent one. A permanent bar is far more severe, representing a final decision to revoke an individual’s access to prestigious certifications like the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) marks. For instance, James Hyland from Connecticut was handed a permanent bar because he didn’t respond adequately to allegations concerning his professional conduct. Complacency or avoidance in such matters can signal danger; a financial advisor’s refusal to cooperate with ethical standards bodies is a red flag for clients.

The truth is, not all those who offer guidance have your best interests at heart. As the famous investor Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Professional standing can be lost rapidly through misconduct, and when it comes to your finances, you want to work with advisors whose reputations are solid and actions are transparent.

In Florida, another example unfolds with Marshall D. Gunn, Jr., who was permanently barred from obtaining his CFP® credentials after failing to engage with a complaint regarding a heavy penalty he incurred from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Instances like this underscore why you should seek advisors who are proactive in maintaining clean, transparent records.

It’s shocking, but necessary to know, that as much as 7% of financial advisors have been disciplined for misconduct. A good financial advisor should be your ally, prioritizing your financial wellbeing above personal gain.

Moving up to Michigan, we find Beth Ann DeBouvre, who was also permanently barred due to her failure to respond to the CFP Board’s Complaint. DeBouvre had let a statutorily barred individual run a securities business through her company, a direct violation of specific financial regulations. This serves as a reminder that the responsibility of financial professionals extends not only to their clients but to the industry’s regulatory standards as well.

In all of these cases, a pattern emerges—individuals in the financial advisory space facing severe consequences due to unethical behavior. This brings me to my final point: the value of due diligence. Always verify the credentials and disciplinary history of any financial professional you consider working with. This not only safeguards your investments but also promotes a culture of integrity within the industry. For convenience, here’s a direct link to check any advisor’s FINRA CRM number.

In conclusion, the financial realm is complex, and navigating it requires skill and ethical guidance. I’m dedicated to bringing clarity to this world, and I encourage you to seek advisors who are just as committed to upholding the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Don’t hesitate to do your research before committing to a financial professional—after all, it’s your future at stake.As a financial analyst and writer, I’ve spent years examining the intricate layers of the financial advisory landscape. In my line of work, I’ve seen my fair share of exemplary practices, but unfortunately, I’ve also come across instances of professional misconduct that serve as cautionary tales. Today, I want to share with you some insights that underscore the importance of due diligence when selecting a financial advisor.

For example, in a striking turn of events, the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board issued a permanent bar against Ms. Sacco. This decision followed her failure to respond to a complaint alleging that she falsified documents, a serious breach of conduct that should never be tolerated in our field. Ms. Sacco’s actions culminated in a FINRA sanction, including a suspension and monetary penalty. This serves as a stark reminder that before entrusting someone with your financial future, it’s always wise to review an advisor’s [FINRA BrokerCheck]( record for peace of mind.

Indeed, Warren Buffett famously quoted, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” For financial professionals, this is particularly poignant, and the actions of few can unfortunately taint the reputation of many.

Continuing west to California, Mr. Michael J. Altobell encountered a permanent revocation of his CFP certifications, subsequent to a complaint indicating that he had failed to comply with an investigation. The gravity of his conduct, as deemed by the administrative action, unfortunately led to his ousting from the circle of trusted CFP professionals.

Down in Georgia, Mr. Daniel Motherway faced a similar fate. His refusal to partake in the investigation process regarding his previous employment resignation and his handling of client accounts raised significant questions about his integrity. Here, the CFP Board found his actions—or lack thereof—to be enough to warrant a revocation of his certification.

In Michigan, the story didn’t change. Mr. James A. Watts faced administrative revocation for his failure to cooperate with the CFP Board’s requests related to his bankruptcy filings and reporting procedures. Just as every penny adds up to dollars, each small action—one might think insignificant—contributes to the overall trustworthiness of a financial adviser.

The financial fact here is startling: a staggering 7.3% of financial advisors have been disciplined for misconduct, according to a study from the University of Chicago. This figure highlights how crucial it is to ensure your financial advisor has a clean record and a steadfast commitment to ethical conduct.

Lastly, from the heart of New Jersey, Mr. Daniel J. Leonetti’s revocation came as a result of his reluctance to address a complaint filed against him, revealing his personal financial struggles and his failure to report a termination accurately to the CFP Board. Not only had he confronted financial hurdles but his lack of transparency affected his professional standing.

In closing, my work advocating for a transparent and accountable financial advisory environment has taught me that it’s key to build relationships based on trust and honesty. Every financial advisor’s journey—marked by high-stakes decisions and ethical dilemmas—can become a narrative of integrity or a cautionary tale of what not to do. It is up to us as financial professionals to embody the noblest standards of our profession, and up to you, as clients and the public, to demand nothing less. Let’s work together to maintain a financial advisory field that is as robust as it is righteous.As a financial analyst and writer, I’ve witnessed various cases unfold within the financial industry’s regulatory framework. Let me share with you some instances that emphasize the importance of adhering to ethical and procedural guidelines.

Take, for instance, the case of Mr. Leonetti. He faced an administrative order of revocation because he didn’t file a required complaint within the specified time frame, as set by the Procedural Rules of the CFP Board. The assessment of his conduct led to a decision on the damage caused, and as of March 29th, 2021, his revocation was in effect.

Now, let’s discuss a situation from Pennsylvania involving Mr. Albert J. Krauza Jr. On September 20th, 2021, the CFP Board permanently revoked Mr. Krauza’s right to use the CFP® designation. This was in response to his failure to file a timely answer to a complaint concerning ethical violations and his lack of cooperation with the Board’s requests for information. The matter revolved around Mr. Krauza’s past Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings. Since he didn’t address the allegations within 30 days, he was considered in default, leading to the revocation of his certification effective October 15th, 2021.

Moving to South Carolina, Mr. Arthur W. Rich found himself in a similar bind. After entering into a Consent Order with the State Department of Insurance for selling 47 title insurance policies without proper authorization, he failed to disclose this inquiry on his 2018 Renewal Application. Deeming him in default for not responding to the complaint, the CFP Board revoked his rights to the CFP® designation as of October 2nd, 2021.

Down in Texas, Harlan T. Cardwell III’s right to use the CFP® mark was revoked after the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission and the Enforcement Committee determined that he had accepted a loan from a client against professional regulations. Furthermore, he failed to comply with a request for information from FINRA and did not inform the CFP Board of his FINRA bar within the required time.

These cases demonstrate the gravity of maintaining honesty and diligence in the financial sector. Not only are these qualities pivotal for the trust between advisors and clients, but a lapse in them can have significant professional consequences. A case to remember is Warren Buffett’s famous dictum, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

Now, for a financial fact you should be aware of: a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that advisors with misconduct records are five times more likely to repeat their offenses than those without any. This stresses the need for thorough research when choosing a financial advisor, including a check of the advisor’s FINRA BrokerCheck record, where you can verify an advisor’s [FINRA CRD number](

In closing, it’s important to highlight the relevance of due process in such disciplinary actions. The procedural rules are in place to ensure fair treatment and provide a structured process for handling violations. When professionals fail to engage with the process or address complaints, they risk losing the credentials that define their expertise and authenticity in the field.

Financial professionals must understand the impact of their actions, maintaining transparency and abiding by both the letter and spirit of the law. In doing so, they uphold the integrity of the industry and ensure that their careers are marked by excellence rather than marred by revocation.

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