A former registered rep who cost a group of NFL players $43 million by steering them into a bum casino investment and other bad deals has been banned from the securities industry.
Jeffrey Rubin of Ligthouse Point, Fla.—an advisor who has been associated with celebrity sports agent Drew Rosenhaus—consented to the penalty under an agreement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) in which he neither admitted to nor denied the allegations against him.
Finra accused Rubin of advising one of his NFL-player clients to invest $2 million in a high-risk casino/entertainment project in Alabama that went bankrupt in January 2012. The client lost at least $3.2 million in that and three other high-risk deals, which Finra alleged were put together by Rubin despite the player's request for moderate-risk investments.
Other players followed Rubin and his client into the investment, losing about $40 million in total, according to Finra.
In return for the referrals, according to the consent agreement, Rubin received a 4 percent ownership stake and $500,000 from the project's promoter. Rubin also failed to obtain the required approval from his employers to participate in the securities transactions involving the casino.
“This case demonstrates how broker misconduct can target high-income, inexperienced, and vulnerable investors," said Brad Bennett, Finra executive vice president and chief of enforcement. "Jeffrey Rubin took advantage of professional athletes who placed their trust in him.”
Rubin originally became registered with Finra in 1997. From 2000 to 2009, he operated Pro Sports Financial (PSF), a Florida-based company that provided financial-related "concierge" services to professional athletes for an annual fee of about $40,000, according to Finra.
The unidentified NFL player who is the subject of the consent agreement hired Rubin as an advisor after he signed a multi-million-dollar NFL contract in 2002. He asked Rubin for investment growth at moderate risk so he would not have to work after retirement, according to Finra.
Instead, while registered as a broker with Lincoln Financial Advisors and Alterna Capital, Rubin put the player in speculative real estate deals, including the casino project, without understanding the nature of the risk and "without having reasonable grounds for believing that such transactions were suitable for the customer in view of the nature of the account and the customer's financial situation," Finra says. The player put about $3.5 million into the deals, which comprised most of his liquid net worth.
Rubin also failed to disclose on the proper disclosure forms that the IRS had two liens against him totalling more than $500,000, according to Finra.