According to their website, the “Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board is a non-profit organization acting in the public interest by fostering professional standards in personal financial planning through its setting and enforcement of the education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements for CFP. “
The CFP Board can discipline those holding the CFP title in one of three ways:
- Public Letter of Admonition
- Temporary Suspension of CFP certification
- Revocation of individual’s CFP certification
In November 2020 the CFP announced sanctions against a number of Texas financial advisors, including the following:
Mohammed Awadalla (Austin, Texas): In August 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order in which Mr. Awadalla received a Public Censure. The Commission issued its order after determining that Mr. Awadalla obtained reimbursement for a 2016 computer purchase to which he was not entitled pursuant to his firm’s computer equipment purchase assistance program, and that he was permitted to resign from his firm in January 2018 for this conduct. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) found in an August 2019 Cautionary Action Letter that Mr. Awadalla’s conduct with respect to the computer reimbursement violated FINRA Rule 2010, which states that “every member…shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.” The Commission determined that Mr. Awadalla’s conduct violated Rules 5.1 and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Awadalla a Public Censure. Mr. Awadalla relinquished his CFP® certification in July 2018.
Adam Frey, CFP® (San Antonio, Texas): In September 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Frey entered into a consent order pursuant to which Mr. Frey received a Public Censure. In the consent order, Mr. Frey agreed to findings that, in 2018, Mr. Frey was terminated from his firm after the firm determined that Mr. Frey violated its document signature policy when he signed incomplete draft documents on behalf of a client. The firm stated that the draft documents were never submitted for processing and that there were no customer complaints arising from Mr. Frey’s conduct. Mr. Frey also consented to findings that, after investigating his conduct, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), found that Mr. Frey’s conduct violated FINRA Rule 2010 and issued a Cautionary Action Letter to Mr. Frey. Mr. Frey consented to CFP Board’s findings that his conduct violated Rules 4.3, 5.1, and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Article 3(a) of the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Accordingly, the Commission censured Mr. Frey with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.
Cecil Ross (San Angelo, Texas): In September 2020, CFP Board issued an order permanently revoking Mr. Ross’ right to use the CFP® certification marks. This discipline followed Mr. Ross’ intentional decision not to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Ross failed to disclose to CFP Board his suspension by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) within the required 30-day timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint also alleged that, according to FINRA’s findings, Mr. Ross engaged in an unsuitable pattern of trading in unit investment trusts in 287 customer accounts by selling these investments before their maturity dates, thereby causing his customers to incur unnecessary excess sales charges. Additionally, CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Ross’ conduct violated Rules 1.4, 4.3. 4.5, and 6.2 of CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for sanction. Mr. Ross declined to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within 30 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules, effective June 30, 2020. In accordance with Article 3.2.a. of the Procedural Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Revocation. Mr. Ross’ revocation was effective as of October 25, 2020.
To verify an individual broker’s current certification status visit the CFP website here.
If you have questions about losses, unauthorized trading or unsuitable investments in your stock brokerage account, contact us for a no charge consultation.
Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL, and Austin, TX, provides representation to investors nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.
Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.
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