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FINRA Tackles Rep's Bad Advice to Athletes

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A Florida financial advisor already in hot water over his alleged mismanagement of dozens of NFL players’ investments received another setback Wednesday when FINRA barred the rep from the securities industry.

The regulator issued an order banning Jeffrey Rubin from the industry, claiming the former advisor gave clients bad financial advice and made unauthorized transactions in dozens of athletes’ accounts that he controlled.

Rubin—who is facing several civil suits around the country for his alleged misdeeds—allegedly talked over 30 NFL players into an illiquid, high-risk investment in a now-bankrupt Alabama casino.

While working as a broker with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation and Alterna Capital Corporation between March 2006 and June 2008, Rubin recommended that his football clients invest in the casino without receiving approval for the transfers from either firm.

One client in particular lost $3 million in the high-risk investment, while 30 others lost over $40 million collectively on the project, according to FINRA.  Meanwhile, Rubin—who did business as Pro Sports Financial—earned a four percent ownership stake and $500,000 for the referrals.

"This case demonstrates how broker misconduct can target high-income, inexperienced, and vulnerable investors,” says FINRA enforcement head Brad Bennett. “Jeffrey Rubin took advantage of professional athletes who placed their trust in him."

Rubin agreed to FINRA’s order without admitting to the allegations.

In addition to FINRA’s action, Rubin and his Pro Sports Financial firm is the subject of several lawsuits, including on filed by NFL wide receiver Terrell Owns. The former Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals player claimed in a Broward County, Fla. suit that the firm negligently mismanaged his funds.

Owens’ claims that Rubin and the firm steered him toward illegal and highly risky investments, including the failed Alabama casino project. The case is still pending in Florida court. 

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