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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has fined Robert Joseph Eanell $7,500.00 and suspended him from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 30 business days for misrepresenting his educational background to prospective clients. FINRA found that Mr. Eanell's firm, Sterling Enterprises Group, asked him to identify all of the degrees, titles, and certifications that he used on his letterhead, business cards, or in communications with clients. However, Mr. Eanell failed to disclose the fact that he held himself out as a holder of a doctoral degree.

The following are examples of some credentials brokers might be falsely alleging they have earned to convince investors to give them business:

-Certified Financial Planner: the Certified Financial Planner (NYSEMKT:CFP) designation is a professional certification for financial planners conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board). To receive authorization to use the designation, the candidate must meet education (minimum bachelor's degree), examination (10-hour multiple choice exam divided into 3 days), work experience (extensive experience in the financial planning field), ethics requirements, and pay an ongoing certification fee. CFPs must also complete continuing education requirements.

-Chartered Financial Analyst: the CFA charter is a qualification for finance and investment professionals, particularly in the fields of investment management and financial analysis of stocks, bonds and their derivative assets. The program focuses on portfolio management and financial analysis, and provides knowledge of other areas of finance. CFA candidates must past three exams and complete 48 months of qualified work experience to earn the CFA charter.

-University Honors: graduates attaining a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 to 3.8 from an accredited college or university earn "cum laude" honors. Graduates attaining a GPA above 3.8 to 3.89 earn "magna cum laude" honors. The highest honors, or "summa cum laude" honors, are earned by graduates attaining a GPA of 3.9 to 4.0.

In order to protect prospective clients from false credentials touted by their brokers, broker-dealers must establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system. If broker-dealers do not establish and/or implement a reasonable supervisory system, they may be liable to investors for damages. Therefore, investors who have suffered damages resulting from misrepresentations by their broker about his or her expertise and/or credentials can bring forth claims to recover losses against their broker-dealer for failure to prevent such illegal activity.

Have you suffered losses resulting from reliance on you adviser's false expertise? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation.

The most important of investors' rights is the right to be informed! This Investors' Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 30 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors' rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please visit our website,, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.