Exclusive: Julio Jones, Roddy White sued by cannabis company for alleged fraud, money laundering
Julio Jones and Roddy White are being sued by a cannabis company for alleged fraud and money laundering, among other allegations.
A cannabis business called “Genetix” filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on July 21 that names Jones, White and White’s company “SLW Holdings, Inc.” as one of the defendants.
Genetixs, which is comprised of five members including White’s SLW company, says they obtained a cannabis license from the Department of Cannabis Regulation through its Social Equity Program.
The business says it intended to take part in a legal cannabis operation, following the guidelines in California.
Genetixs leased a facility in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. in Feb. 2020 where they intended to cultivate and grow cannabis in accordance with state regulations. However, the complaint alleges that things went wrong when Genetixs hired a man named John Van Beek to oversee the buildout and management of their facility.
Not only is Van Beek accused of charging excessive money for the buildout and giving money to his son’s construction company, but he also allegedly began to breach his duties. Genetixs accuses Van Beek of failing to provide budgets, expenditures, invoices, and other business-related paperwork. State inspections of the facility made note of numerous violations at the facility. Van Beek was terminated in March, 2021.
Genetixs alleges that Jones and White, who were teammates on the Atlanta Falcons for five years, went behind the company’s back to work with the Van Beeks. The Van Beeks allegedly cultivated and grew cannabis for sale on the illegal black market, enriching themselves and Jones and White. The Van Beeks disconnected cameras in the facility, began squatting there, and prevented a new manager from entering the facility, according to the complaint.
The suit says the Van Beeks have not reported sales to Genetixs since March. Genetixs estimate about $3 million in cannabis has been harvested and sold illegally per month since then.
The Van Beeks, in connection with White and Jones, allegedly abandoned the Genetixs Cannabis Facility and surrendered the premises to the landlord. Before doing so, they allegedly “looted, removed, and misappropriated” Genetixs’ cannabis derived from more than 22 harvests. They allegedly removed and misappropriated machinery, equipment, and fixtures located within the facility that are worth millions.
Jones, White, SLW, the Van Beeks, and other defendants are being sued on grounds of conspiracy to defraud, aiding and abetting, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract.
Genetixs is seeking general, punitive and exemplary damages, and injunctive relief.
Rafe Emanuel, the lawyer representing SLW Holdings and Roddy White and Julio Jones, told Larry Brown Sports that the allegations are “meritless.”
“The vague allegations against SLW Holdings, LLC, and its members, Roddy White and Julio Jones, are meritless. In May, SLW obtained a temporary restraining order in a related civil case to prevent unlawful conduct involving Genetixs, LLC. In reply, the defendants argued conspiracy theories that were not proven by evidence in Court, nor were they substantiated before any agency. We look forward to again defending these conspiracy theories against my clients in Court,” Emanuel said in a statement.
White, 39, played for the Atlanta Falcons from 2005-2015, making four Pro Bowls as a wide receiver. His career earnings were approximately $65 million. Jones was a wide receiver for the Falcons from 2011-2020. He was traded to the Tennessee Titans this offseason. His career earnings thus far total $125 million. Larry Brown Sports has reached out to the representatives for Jones and White seeking a comment and response.
Additionally, White tells Larry Brown Sports that the allegations are “completely false.” He says he did a background check and learned that two of the people involved with Genetixs are felons who put the company’s cannabis license in jeopardy. He says they are trying to have the men removed from the company, and that their attempt to remove the men spurred the legal complaint in response. White states that he and Jones financed Genetixs from start to finish, and therefore they would have no reason to steal from themselves.