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Broker Jeffrey Rubin has been barred from the securities industry after leading 31 NFL players to invest in a controversial Alabama casino that later went bankrupt and cost the players more than $40 million.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced March 7 of its decision to bar Rubin of Lighthouse Point, Florida, from the securities industry. According to FINRA, Rubin made unsuitable recommendations to his customer – retired Baltimore Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle – to invest in illiquid, high-risk securities issued in connection with the now-bankrupt casino in Alabama.
As a result, Rolle lost approximately $3 million – the majority of his net worth.
About 31 current and retired NFL players eventually lost a total of about $40 million in the project based on Rubin’s referrals, said FINRA.
As reported March 7 by Reuters, players who were among Rubin’s clients included Plaxico Burress, a wide receiver who played for the Superbowl-winning New York Giants; Clinton Portis, a running back for the Washington Redskins; Santonio Holmes, still a receiver for the Jets; Santana Moss, a receiver for the Redskins; Fred Taylor, a former back for the New England Patriots; Jevon Kearse, a former defensive end for the Tennessee Titans; and Kyle Orton, a quarterback who played for Denver Broncos.
“This case demonstrates how broker misconduct can target high-income, inexperienced, and vulnerable investors. Jeffrey Rubin took advantage of professional athletes who placed their trust in him,” said Brad Bennett, FINRA Executive Vice President and Chief of Enforcement, in a statement.
Rubin operated the Florida-based company Pro Sports Financial, which provided financial-related “concierge” services to professional athletes for an annual fee. Between March 2006 and June 2008, while registered as a broker at Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation and Alterna Capital Corporation, Rubin recommended that one of his NFL clients – Rolle – invest a total of $3.5 million, the majority of his liquid net worth, in four high-risk securities. Rubin recommended and facilitated the largest investment, $2 million, in the Alabama casino project without informing his employer member firm or receiving the firm’s approval of this activity.
FINRA says Rubin referred other investors to the casino project while employed by Alterna Capital Corporation and International Assets Advisory, LLC without the firms’ knowledge or approval. FINRA found that from approximately January 2008 through March 2011, 30 additional clients of Rubin’s concierge firm, all NFL players, invested approximately $40 million in the casino project. Rubin received a 4% ownership stake and $500,000 from the project promoter for the referrals.
Rubin neither admitted nor denied FINRA’s charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.