The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced Thursday that former financial adviser Jeff Rubin accepted its findings that he made unsuitable investment recommendations to 32 players. Those investments resulted in the loss of approximately $40 million in an illegal Alabama Casino operation.
Rubin, who founded Pro Sports Financial, used his relationship with prominent agent Drew Rosenhaus to help sign at least 18 one-time Rosenhaus clients to invest in the failed casino project. Among those clients were past and present NFL players Jevon Kearse, Fred Taylor, Frank Gore, Plaxico Burress, and Terrell Owens. The NFL Players Association had been investigating the relationship between Rubin and Rosenhaus at one point, but it is unclear if that investigation is ongoing.
Rubin, who charged approximately $40,000 per year to provide "financial-related concierge" services to professional athletes, was given an ownership interest in the project and was paid at least $500,000 for the investment referrals and other related work he provided to the casino, according to the documents. Rubin also accepted FINRA's finding that he placed the majority of one unidentified client's liquid net worth – approximately $3.5 million – in "high-risk, illiquid securities" that lost the player $3.2 million.
Although Rubin accepted FINRA's findings, he did not admit or deny charges. By accepting FINRA's findings, Rubin has been barred for life from working in a FINRA member firm in any capacity.
"This case demonstrates how broker misconduct can target high-income, inexperienced, and vulnerable investors," FINRA's executive vice president and chief of enforcement, Brad Bennett, said in Thursday's news release. "Jeffrey Rubin took advantage of professional athletes who placed their trust in him."
One attorney, who represented more than 30 players in a related portion of the casino matter, is not surprised by FINRA's findings.
"The whole story is still not out there," said Andrew Kagan, an attorney with the Kagan Law Firm. "He was just moving money around. Jeff was interested in what he was getting out of it."
Kagan said that while his clients had amicably resolved their issues with law firm Greenberg Traurig in relation to the casino investment, "there is still other potential and pending litigation to come with other parties."
"It's sad. It's a lose/lose situation for everyone," Kagan said. "There are a lot of people having money problems because of Jeff Rubin and the financial institutions he placed players' money at. They hurt a lot of people."
While Kagan declined to identify which financial institutions he was referring to, Owens recently sued Rubin and Florida-based Bank Atlantic for mismanaging his finances.
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