Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones is being sued by a cannabis company in connection to alleged fraud and money laundering, according to court documents obtained by The Tennessean late Tuesday night.
Genetixs, a California-based cannabis business, filed a lawsuit on July 21 in Los Angeles County Superior Court naming Jones, his former Atlanta Falcons teammate Roddy White and White’s company, SLW Holdings, among the defendants. SLW Holdings is one of the five members that comprise Genetixs.
The suit alleges the defendants illegally managed and operated Genetixs’ facility and have failed to report cannabis sales since March 2021. Genetixs estimates about $3 million in cannabis has been harvested and sold illegally per month since then.
Jones and White, who were teammates with the Falcons from 2011-15, are accused of colluding with a man named John Van Beek and his son, Shaun Van Beek, to run a black-market cannabis operation through the Genetixs facility. Jones and White had invested in Genetixs through White’s SLW Holdings, per the documents.
John Van Beek was hired by Genetixs in March 2020 to be an on-site manager and operator of its leased facility, located in Desert Hot Springs, California. He’s accused of breach of contract, the failure to report cannabis sales and not providing budgets, invoices, expenditures and other paperwork to the company, according to the complaint.
A state inspection of the facility found numerous violations and John Van Beek was terminated in March 2021.
The Van Beeks allegedly disabled cameras in the facility during their operation and at one point prevented a new manager from entering, per the complaint.
Without Genetixs’ approval, the defendants are accused of abandoning the facility and surrendering the premises to the landlord. They “looted, removed and misappropriated Genetixs' cannabis” from 22 harvests and allegedly damaged machinery, equipment and other valuables, property worth millions of dollars, according to the documents.
Among the grounds Jones, White, the Van Beeks and other defendants are being sued on:
Conspiracy to defraud
Breach of fiduciary duty
Aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and fraud
Breach of member's duty of good faith and fair dealing
Civil conspiracy to defraud
Genetixs is seeking general, punitive and exemplary damages and injunctive relief.
The Titans could not immediately be reached for comment late Tuesday night.
The Titans acquired Jones in a trade with the Falcons last month, a move that gives Tennessee a dynamic offense on paper for 2021. The 32-year-old Jones, a two-time first-team All-Pro selection and seven-time Pro Bowler, established himself as one of the best wide receivers of his generation in a decade with the Falcons (2011-20).
Jones was the No. 6 overall pick by Atlanta in 2011.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Julio Jones sued by cannabis company alleging fraud, money laundering