Professional athletes are among the most common targets of unscrupulous brokers and money managers. Many of these athletes, while wealthy, are also often young and inexperienced when it comes to finance and investment. Just because pro football, basketball, and hockey players have achieved an elite status in their profession does not make them any more sophisticated when it comes to investment products and strategies than the average American. However, since they do have such a high profile, they tend to attract fraudsters in much higher numbers than the rest of us. Our firm’s experience with professional athletes makes us uniquely sensitive to this situation and the struggle they face trying to recover losses when they’ve been swindled.
Accordingly, we were saddened but unfortunately not very surprised when, once again, we came across this article in the media describing how a dozen pro football players based in Florida were allegedly majorly defrauded. According to the Sun Sentinel, a group of at least twelve former or current NFL players filed claims through FINRA’s arbitration process against two Broward County financial advisors. Allegations made by the players and their attorneys include “unsuitable recommendations to invest in "illiquid, high-risk securities” in a now bankrupt Alabama casino and promissory notes offered by the parent company of Success Trade Securities.
In another case, also based in Florida and involving NFL players but this time filed in federal court, another group of players filed a lawsuit back in October alleging that a bank allowed about $53 million to be taken from players’ accounts for “illegitimate” purposes by the firm of a recently banned advisor named Jeffrey Rubin.
And that’s just recently, just in Florida. Cases like this sprout up all over the country, all the time. Pro athletes who may be unbeatable on the gridiron or on the ice need to be as careful as any other novice investor when it comes to the complex game of securities. As the saying goes, out there it’s “whole ‘nother ballgame.”
If you or anyone you know has been the victim of broker misconduct or securities fraud, please contact us immediately at 1-855-462-3330 or via email by clicking here.