The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has suspended the CFP certification of an advisor who recently settled with the SEC on charges he participated in investment fraud.

Gregory K. Womack of Edmond, Okla., had his right to use the "CFP" designation suspended retroactive to October 25, the board announced today.

Womack and co-defendant Gene Larson, also of Edmond, both agreed in August to settle SEC charges that they defrauded 250 investors by selling $23.3 million in interests in four unregistered real estate securities offerings between late 2017 and December 2018, according to the board.

“Mr. Womack’s conduct poses a significant threat to the public or significantly impinges upon the reputation of the profession or the CFP certification marks,” the board said in a statement.

The order suspends Womack’s right to use the CFP mark pending the board’s investigation into the matter, which could lead to further disciplinary proceedings, the board added.

The unregistered securities were offered by GreneCo., which was owned by both Womack and Larson and were sold by Womack Investment Advisers LLC (WIA), owned solely by Womack, the board said. Both entities also settled charges with the SEC.

Mr. Womack also consented to findings that he and WIA failed to inform investors that he and Larson would receive millions of dollars in management fees from investor funds and that the firm received at least $160,000 directly from GreneCo, the board said.

WIA’s annual Form ADV filed on March 9, 2018, “misleadingly represented that the firm ‘receives no compensation from a client’s participation and does not charge the client a fee for this investment,’” the CFP Board said.

As part of the SEC settlement, Mr. Womack agreed he is liable for disgorgement of $236,739.00 plus $48,170.00 in prejudgment interest and a civil penalty of $145,031.00; and his firm is liable for disgorgement of $160,000.00 plus $32,609.00 in prejudgment interest and a civil penalty of $517,955.00.

GreneCo agreed it is liable for a civil penalty of $414,364.00, and GreneCo’s co-owner agreed he is liable for a civil penalty of $41,440.00. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma approved the settlement on August 15, 2022.