WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced that it has imposed an interim suspension of the CFP® certification against Filippo Mastrocola, which is effective as of August 10, 2022.
CFP Board issued an automatic Interim Suspension Order suspending Mr. Mastrocola's right to use the CFP® certification marks after receiving evidence that the Securities Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Massachusetts Securities Division) issued a permanent bar. On May 24, 2022, Mr. Mastrocola entered into a Consent Order with the Massachusetts Securities Division (Consent Order). According to the Consent Order, Mr. Mastrocola advised a client whose wife had a serious health condition to liquidate stocks in his Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and send Mr. Mastrocola $228,000 in proceeds. As set forth in the Consent Order, Mr. Mastrocola claimed he would use the proceeds to purchase a Medicaid-compliant annuity on the client's behalf, to enable the client's wife to qualify for a state Medicaid program. Instead, the Consent Order states that Mr. Mastrocola used most of the proceeds for purposes unrelated to the client and never purchased the annuity. The Massachusetts Securities Division determined that Mr. Mastrocola's conduct violated Section 101(2) of the Massachusetts Uniform Securities Act, which prohibits the making of material misrepresentations or omissions in connection with the offer, sale or purchase of a security. Mr. Mastrocola consented to the imposition of a permanent bar, $102,000 in restitution and a $175,000 administrative fine. Under the automatic Interim Suspension Order, Mr. Mastrocola's right to use the CFP® certification marks is suspended, pending CFP Board's completed investigation and possible further disciplinary proceedings.
An interim suspension is a suspension of a CFP® professional's certification and trademark license during the pendency of proceedings. A Respondent subject to an Interim Suspension Order must not use the CFP® certification marks or state or suggest that Respondent is a CFP® professional while the Interim Suspension Order is in effect. An Interim Suspension Order is a temporary sanction and does not preclude CFP Board from imposing a final sanction. An Interim Suspension Order will remain in place until the DEC or, if an appeal is filed, CFP Board's Appeals Commission, issues a final order. CFP Board Counsel may vacate an Interim Suspension Order if a criminal conviction, civil liability or professional discipline is vacated or reversed or if Respondent provides sufficient evidence indicating that Respondent was not the subject of a criminal conviction, civil liability or professional discipline. A Hearing Panel of the DEC may issue an Order to vacate an Interim Suspension Order upon a successful Petition to Vacate an Interim Suspension Order by Respondent.
The basis for this decision also may be found on CFP Board's website at CFP.net/verify. At that website, CFP Board provides the public with:
The ability to check on any individual's CFP Board disciplinary history and CFP® certification status.
Links to other sources of information about CFP® professionals that may be more recent or that may contain information that has not led to CFP Board discipline and does not appear on CFP Board's website. This information may include customer disputes, disciplinary actions taken by a regulator or employer, certain criminal matters and certain financial matters (such as bankruptcy proceedings and unpaid judgments or liens).
Links to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.'s (FINRA's) BrokerCheck and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC's) Investment Adviser Public Disclosure databases for individuals who are subject to FINRA or SEC oversight.
CFP Board's Enforcement Process
As part of their certification, CFP® professionals make a commitment to CFP Board 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's Procedural Rules set forth the process for investigating matters and imposing sanctions where violations have been found.
CFP Board enforces its ethical standards by investigating alleged violations and, where there is probable cause to believe there are grounds for sanction, presents a Complaint containing the alleged violations to CFP Board's DEC. The DEC meets at least six times a year to review any matter in which CFP Board has alleged that a CFP® professional has violated the Code and Standards or its predecessor Standards. The DEC functions in accordance with the Procedural Rules and reviews all matters on a case-by-case basis, considering the details specific to an individual case. If the DEC determines there are grounds for sanction, then it may impose a sanction. DEC orders may be appealed by a CFP® professional or CFP Board pursuant to the Procedural Rules.
In certain circumstances, such as when a CFP® professional is in default due to failure to acknowledge receipt of a Notice of Investigation or file an Answer, CFP Board staff must deliver an Administrative Order of Suspension, Temporary Bar, Revocation or Permanent Bar. Administrative Orders also are subject to appeal.
More information on CFP Board's enforcement process can be found at CFP.net/ethics/enforcement.
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 the public, advisors and firms as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by nearly 93,000 people in the United States.
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SOURCE Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.