Jeffrey Rubin, a Florida broker, was barred from the securities industry after more than 30 National Football League players including Terrell Owens lost at least $40 million on an Alabama casino project that went bankrupt.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s self-funded overseer, said in a statement today that one of Rubin’s clients put the majority of his cash into the project and lost about $3 million. Finra didn’t say which players were involved. Owens, the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, and Jevon Kearse, the former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end nicknamed “The Freak,” were among those who lost money, according to their lawyers.
“This case demonstrates how broker misconduct can target high-income, inexperienced, and vulnerable investors,” Brad Bennett, Finra’s head of enforcement, said in the statement. “Jeffrey Rubin took advantage of professional athletes who placed their trust in him.”
Rubin, 38, agreed to the ban without admitting to Finra’s charges. Patricia Christiansen, Rubin’s lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida, declined to comment.
Owens sued Rubin in Broward County in January, saying the broker introduced him to the failed casino project. Michael Simon, the player’s lawyer in Boca Raton, said Rubin didn’t tell investors that the electronic bingo machines planned for the development weren’t allowed in Alabama.
“It should have never been promoted to any NFL player or any investor,” Simon said. “It was illegal.”
Andrew Kagan, Kearse’s lawyer in Fort Myers, said he has represented about 30 players who lost money on the failed project.
“Jeff was getting a finder’s fee for putting people in it,” Kagan said. “The guys didn’t even know how much was put in, when it was put in.”