The CFP Board vacated an interim suspension it’d leveled against a former UBS advisor after criminal fraud charges against him were dismissed, the Board announced Friday.
In Jan. 2021, New Jersey state officials charged Joseph Whitney with a first degree conspiracy charge for his purported role in an alleged scheme that included his wife Melanie and several other individuals. The CFP Board followed suit with an interim suspension order in March of that year.
Whitney was formerly based in Mahwah, New Jersey and now lives in Rochester, New York, and in addition to UBS had stints with Morgan Stanley and Wedbrush Securities, where he worked until Feb. 2021, according to his BrokerCheck profile.
According to the original charges announced by then-New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal (who later became the SEC’s Enforcement Division Director), Melanie Whitney allegedly overstated her professional real estate experience and defrauded two investors for more than $75,000 through fraudulent real estate deals. Melanie Whitney allegedly directed the money into bank accounts controlled co-conspirators.
Melanie Whitney also allegedly falsified mortgage applications when defrauding two mortgage lenders who loaned her money for real estate investments, instead directing that money into accounts controlled by her father, brother and Bruce Evanter, one of the other named defendants. The total scheme alleged included more than half a million dollars in misdirected funds.
But in March of this year, New Jersey prosecutors dropped the criminal charges against Whitney, and earlier last month, the CFP Board Counsel issued an order that would vacate the interim suspension. While under suspension, a rep is not allowed to use CFP certification marks or give the impression they are a CFP professional.
Recently, the CFP Board announced that it would be suspending a Delaware-based financial advisor arrested on charges of child pornography, as well as another advisor charged with vehicular manslaughter after being accused of driving under the influence. The CFP Board also suspended an advisor charged by the SEC in its first enforcement case related to violations of its Regulation Best Interest rule.