The CFP Board, which polices certified financial planners, announced that it has admonished, suspended or revoked the licenses of 13 financial advisors that use its designation.
The blacklist includes five advisors in California, David Larkin George in Carlsbad, Melissa Pearce in Laguana Nuguel , Max Safdie in Mill Valley, Jeffery Forrest in San Luis Obispo and Raoul Sevelius in Chico; Mario Ferrari of Boca Raton and Marcus Michles of Winter Park in Florida; John Stelman in Lake Orion, Mich.; Cynthia Murphy in Montclair, N.J.; Julia Jarvis in Upper Arlington, Ohio; Oren Sullivan in Rock Hill, S.C.; David Disraeli in Cedar Park, Texas; and Jeffrey Elverman in Genoa City, Wisc.
Stelman was in the least trouble, receiving a letter of admonishment over the state of his personal finances. The advisor, who was divorced in 2006, filed for bankruptcy in 2009, displaying “an inability to manage his personal finances and thus engaged in conduct which reflects adversely on his integrity and fitness as a certificant, upon the CFP certification marks, and upon the profession,” the Board ruled.
George was suspended for three months because he “affixed” signatures on three clients’ documents and paid for two friends’ financial plans. Pearce was suspended for six months for declaring bankruptcy in 2009. Safdie was barred for a year and a day for overstating the financial qualifications of a family member to a loan officer.
Ferrari received the same punishment, although details of his misconduct take up a lot more space: five customer arbitrations alleging unsuitability, unauthorized trading, misrepresentation, churning, fraud and violation of both state and federal securities laws; falsifying client documents; resigning from his firm due to unacceptable business practices; and failing to disclose to his clients that he does not provide financial planning services.
Elverman was barred for three years for failing to report income in his 2002 and 2003 tax returns, his suspension as a lawyer in Wisconsin and then failing to report it to the Board.
Meanwhile, Forrest was barred for life after the Securities and Exchange Commission refused to register him as an advisor, which he then failed to report to the CFP Board. Sevelius lost his designation for misdemeanor battery in California, after which he lost his insurance licenses. He, too, failed to notify the CFP Board, as did Michles, who was admonished by the New York Stock Exchange for acting in less than “high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.”
Jarvis lost her state licenses, and was later convicted of mail fraud, as was Sullivan, who was struck from FINRA’s list, too; Disraeli was banned by the SEC of acting as an advisor.
Of all of these cases, Cynthia Murphy’s is the most exotic: the CFP Board revoked her right to use their designation for being a Russian spy.