The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has said that it has barred broker Jeffrey Rubin of Lighthouse Point, Florida, from the securities industry for making unsuitable recommendations to his customer, an NFL player, to invest in illiquid, high-risk securities issued in connection with a now-bankrupt casino in Alabama.
As a result, the customer lost approximately $3 million. Based on Rubin's referrals, 30 other NFL players also invested in the casino project and lost approximately $40 million. Rubin also failed to obtain the required approval from his employers to participate in the securities transactions involving the casino.
Brad Bennett, FINRA Executive Vice President and Chief of Enforcement said, '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'.
Rubin operated a 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 he was registered as a broker at Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation and Alterna Capital Corporation, Rubin recommended that one of his NFL clients 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.
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 percent ownership stake and $500,000 from the project promoter for these referrals.
In settling this matter, Rubin neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA's findings.
FINRA's investigation was conducted by the Departments of Enforcement and Member Regulation.
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