The CFP Board announced yesterday that it permanently revoked the right to use the CFP mark from Robert E. Barth, in Laguna Niguel, Calif.; Rick D. VanVleet, Fort Collins, Colo.; and Richard C. Dergance, Las Vegas. It also imposed a one-year suspension for using the mark on Edwin H. Jaffe of Memphis and a six-month suspension on Christopher A. Root of Edina, Minn. A letter of admonition was issued to Kevin K. Kroskey of North Royalton, Ohio.
The board revoked Barth's license after a July hearing by its disciplinary and ethics commission, which had investigated a grievance filed by one of Barth's former clients. The commission found that Barth had not obtained any information about the client's needs and objectives, commingled the client's funds in his own business account, charged the client inappropriately, and failed to review and recommend changes to the client's living trust documents, to return the client's documents, to disclose compensation arrangements to the client in writing, and to act as a fiduciary on behalf of the client.
The commission took the action against VanVleet for operating a fraudulent investment scheme. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in connection with the case. VanVleet had been indicted by the Colorado Attorney General's Office on five counts of securities fraud and two counts of theft over $15,000. The indictment alleged that VanVleet sold promissory notes to investors and then failed to fulfill the obligations required by the notes. VanVleet pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud, and all remaining charges were dropped.
The board revoked Dergance's CFP license after the ethics commission investigated a 2007 civil lawsuit and 2008 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority charges. Dergance settled the FINRA action by agreeing he received $18,541 in commissions for selling $185,300 in investments in an unregistered 36-month real estate promissory note in 2003 from a broker-dealer other than the one for whom he work. The broker-dealer who issued the note later defaulted on it.
Jaffe's CFP license was suspended for one year after the ethics commission investigated a case that Jaffe settled with FINRA by consenting that he participated in private securities transactions without providing his employer prior written notice of the proposed transactions. Root's CFP license was suspended for six months because he identified himself as a CFP licensee before he was certified. Kroskey received a letter of admonition after the ethics commission investigated Kroskey's 2002 conviction and subsequent 13-month prison sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, better known as Ecstasy, and his failure to report the conviction to the Ohio Department of Insurance within 30 days of his conviction. The Ohio insurance department held a hearing in 2008 on revoking his insurance license, but the hearing administrator recommended against it because Kroskey had been rehabilitated.