Some sports fans laughed when controversial former NFL Terrell (T.O.) Owens recently said he was broke. But it turns out it wasn’t all his fault. OnWallStreet.com reports that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has banned Jeffrey Rubin, Owens’ financial advisor, from working in the securities industry anymore.

Owens and at least 30 other NFL players invested in an “Alabama casino project that went bankrupt,” the news site reports. This dubious deal lost $40 million of the players’ money, and Owens sued Rubin earlier in the year. Michael Simon, T.O.’s attorney, said that Rubin failed to tell Owens that the electronic bingo machines that were to be used at the casino were illegal in the state. “It should have never been promoted to any NFL player or any investor,” he said. “It was illegal.”

FINRA said that one of the advisor’s clients lost $3 million on it, although the agency did not specifically say who had invested in it. But OnWallStreet.com says that Jevon Kearse, the ex-Philadelphia Eagles player known as “The Freak,” also invested in the project.

“This case demonstrates how broker misconduct can target high-income, inexperienced, and vulnerable investors,” Brad Bennett, who serves as FINRA’s enforcement chief, said in a statement on the issue. “Jeffrey Rubin took advantage of professional athletes who placed their trust in him.”

The article says that Rubin has agreed to the securities ban, but has not admitted to the allegations.

Written by Lisa Swan

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In an effort to help business victims of Hurricane Sandy, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority altered some of their rules. OnWallStreet.com reports that FINRA has relaxed some mandatory requirements for financial advisors.

The publication says that “rules were altered on Thursday regarding office relocations, deadlines for regulatory filings, such as U4 forms, deadlines for continuing education, and new member applications.” FINRA is also giving time extensions for those who were afflicted by the superstorm.

The agency said that it “recognizes that members need relief from many regulatory requirements as a result of the dislocation caused by Hurricane Sandy.”  In addition, it has encouraged financial advisors to let displaced advisors work with them temporarily. FINRA also said that financial firms should put a notice on their websites for customers to let them know who they should contact regarding their accounts.

FINRA itself faced issues due to Hurricane Sandy. It has been unable to access its New York office membership office. It advised new members to contact them regarding the status of their paperwork.

Written by Lisa Swan

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