An advisor to some of the NFL’s biggest stars who allegedly used funds he was supposed to invest in a real estate and casino project to pay for a Lamborghini and a $2.8 million luxury home has settled charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC charged Jeffrey B. Rubin, 41, with defrauding his pro athlete clientele, including NFL players Jevon Kearse, Terrell Owens, Ray Lewis, Plaxico Burress, Santana Moss who invested approximately $40 million in a casino project.
Rubin, of Denver, Colo., settled the SEC’s charges Tuesday in an administrative proceeding, agreeing to pay $250,000 in civil penalties and to a bar from the securities industry. Rubin previously settled charges with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) barring him from the industry.
According to the SEC’s claims, Rubin, president of Pro Sports Financial, Inc., failed to disclose his personal expenses that he was reimbursed out of proceeds from a real estate project in which he advised clients to invest.
Rubin, a close friend to many athletes, started Pro Sports Financial as a concierge service to assist professional athletes with their day-to-day needs and to serve as an investment advisor. At the time, Rubin had already been working as an investment advisor associated with Alterna Wealth Management of Boca Raton, Fla. According to Finra’s complaint, the firm did not approve nor know of Rubin’s involvement in the casino project.
Thirty Pro Sports clients invested approximately $40 million in the development of Country Crossings, a casino and entertainment complex in Dothan, Alabama, allegedly at the recommendation of Rubin and/or the project developer. The clients bought promissory notes to help secure land for the project; as note holders, they received unit interests in Country Crossings.
At the time, Rubin had a 4 percent equity interest in the success of Country Crossings but allegedly failed to notify some of his clients.
However, two years into the project, in January 2010, Alabama law enforcement shut down the casino due to state issues related to the legality of an electronic bingo game within. The SEC alleges that Rubin and the project developer continued to solicit investor proceeds to Country Crossings, but the casino never reopened.
Finra alleged that one of Rubin’s clients, an NFL player, lost $3 million in the casino scheme.