The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) announced that stockbroker Jeffrey Rubin of Lighthouse Point has been barred from the securities industry for making unsuitable recommendations and engaging in unapproved transactions involving 31 NFL football players.
According to FINRA, Rubin operated Pro Sports Financial, a concierge financial service that took care of nearly every need for its clients, from insurance to bill paying to running errands. FINRA claims that the clients, nearly all NFL players and other professional athletes, were charged a $40,000 annual fee for the service.
FINRA claims that from March 2006 to June 2008, while Rubin was registered as a stockbroker with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation and Alterna Capital Corporation, he convinced 31 NFL players to invest in a now-bankrupt casino project known as Country Crossing in Dothan, Alabama. According to an earlier story in The Daily Business Review, some of the investors were former NFL players Terrell Owens, Clinton Portis and Duane Starks. FINRA stated that the 31 players lost a combined total of approximately $40 million in the project.
A Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent (“AWC”) between FINRA and Rubin reflects that Rubin recommended that his clients invest in illiquid, high-risk securities that were unsuitable in light of the clients’ stated investment objectives and risk tolerance. One example given by FINRA was an NFL player client with a stated investment objective of “growth” and “moderate” risk tolerance that Rubin recommended invest the majority of his liquid net worth ($3.5 million) in 4 high-risk, illiquid investments. According to FINRA, the player suffered losses of $3.2 million.
The AWC also reflected that Rubin failed to obtain approval from Lincoln and Alterna before recommending the private securities transactions to his clients.