Former MU Football Star Agrees To Settle SEC Allegations Over His Medical Marijuana Businesses
Corbyn Jones, now an attorney, was a star quarterback for Mizzou from 1995 to 1998 and was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
A former star quarterback for the University of Missouri has agreed to settle charges that he misrepresented to investors how their money would be used in his two medical marijuana businesses.
Corbyn W. Jones, who was known as “Corby” during his playing days at Mizzou, agreed to an injunction and to cough up nearly $83,000 in allegedly ill-gotten gains, a civil penalty of $50,000 and prejudgment interest of nearly $4,000.
In a complaint filed Thursday in federal court in Kansas City, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged that Jones had used “a significant amount” of the $650,000 he raised from five investors in two states “for purely personal purposes.”
Jones, 44, is an attorney. He was a four-year starter for Mizzou between 1995 and 1998. His best years were in his final two seasons when the Tigers played in a bowl game after each regular season. Mizzou’s 7-5 record in 1997 ended a streak of 13 consecutive seasons with losing records.
Jones referred inquiries about the SEC complaint to his attorney, Dan Herrington, who said that Jones neither admitted nor denied the allegations as part of his settlement.
Herrington said that the investors in Jones’ companies remained his friends.
“For the period of time in question, he was the company’s sole employee and had no administrative, managerial or accounting personnel for oversight or assistance,” Herrington said in an email.
“He transferred funds from personal accounts into corporate accounts and made transfers from corporate accounts into personal accounts, without always keeping track of what he had put in and what he had removed. He has acknowledged mistakes he made and does not wish to put himself and his friends through the time and expense of a trial. Consenting to the judgment allows everyone to move forward, and put this behind them.”
Jones was in private practice as an attorney before forming his medical marijuana businesses, Strayne Holdings LLC and 1107 Property Management LLC, in 2019. According to the SEC complaint, he is CEO of both corporations and owns about 42% of each.
Both businesses are located at 3646 Harrison Blvd., which is a residential address in midtown Kansas City.
Documents filed with the SEC by Jones' businesses were signed by Quentin Jennings, an attorney at the Polsinelli firm in Kansas City.
Jennings declined to comment on the SEC complaint but acknowledged he had invested in the enterprises and said he remained good friends with Jones, whom he called "a great guy."
Jones and Jennings briefly operated their own law firm about nine years ago. But the two disbanded the firm shortly after they formed it. Jones joined the Spencer Fane law firm and Jennings rejoined Polsinelli, the firm he had left.
According to the SEC complaint against Jones, from March 15, 2019, through Jan. 1, 2020, he used about $259,000 of investor funds to pay for personal expenses. During the same period, he deposited about $97,000 into corporate accounts and paid about $11,000 in business expenses from his personal accounts.
“The total net benefit to Jones was approximately $308,000, which is $83,000 more than the CEO salary of $225,000 that was disclosed to investors,” the complaint states.
The SEC office in Chicago, which handled the complaint, did not return a call seeking comment.
As quarterback at Mizzou, one of Jones’ most memorable performances was an upset 51-50 win during his junior season over No. 12 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, a game that went into double overtime.
Jones was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. His 26 career touchdown passes at Mizzou still ranks in the Tigers’ Top 10. His career passing efficiency rating (260.7) against Iowa State in 1997 still ranks as the best in Mizzou history against a conference opponent. He completed 12 of 14 passes with two touchdowns that day. His career passing efficiency rating (119.6) is still among the ten best at MU.