Skip to main content
Press Release

CFP Board Imposes Public Discipline

Disciplinary actions relate to 13 current or former CFP® professionals 

 

November 13, 2020

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced today public disciplinary actions against the following individuals, effective immediately or on the date noted in each case. Public disciplinary actions taken by CFP Board, in order of increasing severity, include public censures, suspensions and permanent revocations.

This release contains information about recent disciplinary actions relating to 13 current or former CFP® professionals. Of these actions, there are nine public censures, one suspension, one administrative suspension, one administrative revocation, and one administrative permanent bar.

The basis for each decision can be found in the Disciplinary Action Report below and on CFP Board’s website. The public may check on an individual’s disciplinary history and certification status with CFP Board at www.CFP.net/verify. That website also provides links to FINRA’s BrokerCheck and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Investment Adviser Public Disclosure databases, which are free tools that may be used to conduct research on the background and experience of CFP® professionals who are subject to FINRA or SEC oversight, including with respect to employment history, regulatory actions, and investment-related licensing information, arbitrations and complaints.

CFP Board’s enforcement process is a critical consumer protection. As part of their certification, a CFP® professional agrees to abide by CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct (Code and Standards), or its predecessor, the Standards of Professional Conduct (Standards), which included the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards.

CFP Board enforces its ethical standards by investigating incidents of alleged violations and, where there is probable cause to believe there are grounds for sanction, presenting a Complaint containing the alleged violations to CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) pursuant to CFP Board’s Procedural Rules, which became effective on June 30, 2020, or its predecessor Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (Disciplinary Rules). If the Commission determines there are grounds for sanction (previously called grounds for discipline), then it may impose a sanction ranging from a private censure or public sanction (previously called a letter of admonition) to the suspension or revocation of the right to use the CFP® marks. CFP Board’s Procedural Rules set forth the process for investigating matters and imposing discipline where violations have been found.

The Commission meets at least six times a year to provide a fair, unbiased review of any matter in which CFP Board has alleged that a CFP® professional has violated the Code and Standards, or its predecessor Standards.

The Commission functions in accordance with the Procedural Rules and reviews all matters on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the details specific to an individual case. While CFP Board has attempted to capture the details relevant to each decision, the summary nature of these releases may omit certain details affecting the decision. Accordingly, the decisions and/or rationale described in the releases may not apply to other cases reviewed by the Commission or reflect the Commission’s future interpretation or application of the Code and Standards, or the predecessor Standards.

STATE

NAME

LOCATION

DISCIPLINE

Virginia

Tami Aloisa, CFP®

Virginia Beach

Public Censure

Texas

Mohammed Awadalla

Austin

Public Censure

Florida

Kevin W. Burkle, CFP®

Neptune Beach

Public Censure

Alabama

Craig Cohn

Birmingham

Suspension

New Jersey

Vincent J. Colubiale, CFP®

Wall Township

Public Censure

Massachusetts

Gerald Eaton

Acton

Administrative Permanent Bar

Texas

Adam Frey, CFP®

San Antonio

Public Censure

Colorado

Jonathan Hoelscher, CFP®

Westminster

Public Censure

Illinois

Larry Johnson, CFP®

Itasca

Public Censure

Florida

Ross Loehr, CFP®

Atlantic Beach

Public Censure

New Jersey

Alexander Panas, CFP®

Morristown

Public Censure

Texas

Cecil Ross

San Angelo

Administrative Revocation

Virginia

Joshua Stamm

Lynchburg

Administrative Suspension

 

PUBLIC CENSURES

COLORADO

Jonathan Hoelscher, CFP® (Westminster, Colorado): In August 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order in which Mr. Hoelscher received a Public Censure. The Commission issued its order after determining that Mr. Hoelscher 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 terminated from his firm in July 2018 for this conduct. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) found in a July 2018 Cautionary Action Letter that Mr. Hoelscher’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. Hoelscher’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. Hoelscher a Public Censure.

FLORIDA

Kevin W. Burkle, CFP® (Neptune Beach, Florida): In October 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Burkle entered into a consent order pursuant to which Mr. Burkle received a Public Censure. In the consent order, Mr. Burkle agreed to findings that he converted his firm employer’s funds by obtaining reimbursement for a 2014 computer purchase to which he was not entitled pursuant to the firm’s computer equipment purchase assistance program, and that he was discharged from his firm in April 2018 for this conduct. Mr. Burkle also consented to a finding that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) found in an August 2019 Cautionary Action Letter that his 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.” In addition, Mr. Burkle consented to CFP Board’s finding that his conduct violated Rules 5.1 and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct. Accordingly, the Commission censured Mr. Burkle with regard to the above-mentioned conduct.

Ross Loehr, CFP® (Atlantic Beach, Florida): In September 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Loehr entered into a consent order in which Mr. Loehr agreed that CFP Board would issue a Public Censure. In the consent order, Mr. Loehr consented to findings that he converted his firm’s funds by obtaining reimbursement for a 2014 computer purchase to which he was not entitled pursuant to the firm’s computer equipment purchase assistance program, and that he was permitted to resign from his firm in April 2018 based on this conduct. Mr. Loehr also consented to a finding that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Mr. Loehr a Cautionary Action Letter in which FINRA determined that Mr. Loehr’s conduct with respect to the computer reimbursement violated FINRA Rule 2010, which states that every member, in the conduct of its business, shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. Pursuant to the consent order, Mr. Loehr also consented to findings that his conduct violated Rules 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 issued to Mr. Loehr a Public Censure.

ILLINOIS

Larry W. Johnson, CFP® (Itasca, Illinois): In September 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) entered into a consent order pursuant to which Mr. Johnson received a Public Censure. Pursuant to the Consent Order, Mr. Johnson consented to findings that he failed to disclose to his firm certain outside business activities and private securities transactions in violation of firm policy and regulatory requirement. Mr. Johnson also consented to a finding that he failed to adequately disclose his termination from his firm that occurred as a result of those failures to CFP Board when he applied for reinstatement in 2019. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Johnson a Public Censure.

NEW JERSEY

Vincent J. Colubiale, CFP® (Wall Township, New Jersey): In October 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Mr. Colubiale entered into a consent order in which Mr. Colubiale agreed that CFP Board would issue a Public Censure. In the consent order, Mr. Colubiale consented to findings that he converted his firm’s funds by obtaining reimbursement for a 2016 computer purchase to which he was not entitled pursuant to the firm’s computer equipment purchase assistance program, and that he voluntarily terminated his firm employment in January 2018 for this conduct. Mr. Colubiale also consented to a finding that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) found in an August 2019 Cautionary Action Letter that his conduct violated FINRA Rule 2010, which states that every member, in the conduct of his business, shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. Pursuant to the consent order, Mr. Colubiale also consented to findings that his conduct violated Rules 5.1, and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct. Accordingly, the Commission issued a Public Censure to Mr. Colubiale.

Alexander Panas, CFP® (Morristown, New Jersey): In August 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order in which Mr. Panas received a Public Censure. The Commission issued its order after determining that Mr. Panas failed to comply with the SEC’s Regulation S-P when he populated an Excel spreadsheet with nonpublic personal client information and then provided that information to a third-party vendor, and uploaded that information to his computer as well as an encrypted cloud-based server. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) found in a February 2018 Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent that Mr. Panas’ conduct 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. Panas’ conduct violated Rules 3.1, 3.2, 4.3, 4.4, and 5.1 of the Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a), 3(d), and 3(e) the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Panas a Public Censure.

TEXAS

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.

VIRGINIA

Tami Aloisa, CFP® (Virginia Beach, VA): In October 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) and Ms. Aloisa entered into a consent order pursuant to which Ms. Aloisa received a Public Censure. In the consent order, Ms. Aloisa agreed to findings that she was investigated by her firm for a single instance where she photocopied clients’ signatures from an expired form onto an unexpired form, and that she voluntarily resigned from her firm employment in July 2015 for this conduct. Ms. Aloisa also consented to a finding that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) found in a December 2016 Cautionary Action Letter (CAL) that this conduct violated FINRA Rule 2010, which states that every member, in the conduct of its business, shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. The CAL also cited Ms. Aloisa for a FINRA Rule 4511(a) Books and Records violation for altering client documents. Pursuant to the consent order, Ms. Aloisa also agreed to findings that this conduct violated Rules 4.3, 5.1, and 6.2 of the Rules of Conduct. Accordingly, the Commission issued a Public Censure to Ms. Aloisa.

SUSPENSION

ALABAMA

Craig Cohn (Birmingham, Alabama): In August 2020, the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (Commission) issued an order in which Mr. Cohn received a one-year-and-one-day suspension of his right to use the CFP® certification marks. The Commission issued its order after determining that Mr. Cohn sent several sexually explicit text messages to a minor and entered a negotiated plea deal for misdemeanor Child Endangerment. The Commission determined that Mr. Cohn’s conduct violated Rule 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct and provided grounds for discipline pursuant to Articles 3(a) and 3(c) of the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Accordingly, the Commission issued to Mr. Cohn a suspension for one year and one day. Mr. Cohn’s suspension is effective from September 27, 2020 until September 28, 2021.

ADMINISTRATIVE SUSPENSION

VIRIGINIA

Joshua Stamm (Lynchburg, Virginia): In September 2020, CFP Board issued an order suspending Mr. Stamm’s right to use the CFP® certification marks for one year and one day. This discipline followed Mr. Stamm’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that, on January 11, 2017, the Virginia State Corporation Commission Division of Securities and Retail Franchising suspended Mr. Stamm from supervisory roles for four years, placed Mr. Stamm on heightened supervision, and imposed a monetary penalty on Mr. Stamm for effecting unauthorized securities transactions not recorded on the books or records of his firm. Mr. Stamm did not disclose this event to CFP Board. The Complaint also alleged that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) suspended Mr. Stamm’s registration for six months based upon Mr. Stamm participating in two private securities transactions without providing prior notice to his firm, in violation of FINRA Rule 2010 and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Rule 3040. Mr. Stamm did not disclose this event to CFP Board within the required reporting period. The Complaint also alleged that Mr. Stamm intentionally made false and misleading statements to CFP Board on his biennial Ethics Declaration to conceal these regulatory actions and facilitate the renewal of his certification. CFP Board’s Complaint further alleged that Mr. Stamm’s conduct provided grounds for sanction due to violations of Rules 4.3, 5.1, and 6.2 of the Rules of Conduct. Mr. Stamm declined to file an Answer to the Complaint to CFP Board within 30 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules. In accordance with Article 4.1 of the Procedural Rules, Mr. Stamm was in default, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Suspension. Mr. Stamm’s suspension is effective from October 19, 2020 until October 20, 2021.

ADMINISTRATIVE REVOCATION

TEXAS

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.

ADMINISTRATIVE PERMANENT BAR

MASSACHUSETTS

Gerald Eaton (Acton, Massachusetts): In August 2020, CFP Board issued an order permanently barring Gerald A. Eaton from seeking CFP® certification. This discipline followed Mr. Eaton’s failure to file an Answer to CFP Board’s Complaint within the required timeframe. CFP Board’s Complaint alleged that Mr. Eaton was terminated from his firm because he “fraudulently facilitated distributions from the accounts of clients without their knowledge or consent or for their benefit.” The Complaint further alleged that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) began investigating Mr. Eaton based upon the termination from his firm. On November 20, 2019, after Mr. Eaton refused to produce the information or documents required by FINRA Rule 8210, FINRA imposed a permanent bar on Mr. Eaton from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity. CFP Board’s Complaint further alleged that Mr. Eaton failed to report this professional bar to CFP Board within 30 calendar days. CFP Board’s Complaint further alleged that Mr. Eaton’s conduct violated Rules 4.3 and 6.5 of the Rules of Conduct, providing grounds for discipline. Mr. Eaton declined to file an Answer to the Complaint to CFP Board within 30 calendar days of the date of service, as required by Article 3.2 of the Procedural Rules. In accordance with Articles 3.2 and 4.1 of the Procedural Rules, the allegations set forth in the Complaint were deemed admitted, and CFP Board issued an Administrative Order of Permanent Bar. Mr. Eaton’s bar was effective as of September 4, 2020.

About CFP Board

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by firms and consumer groups as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 87,000 people in the United States.

Contact

Jeanne Hamrick
Director, External Communications
202-379-2252
jhamrick@cfpboard.org