Last week, I posted on Sean Jones' arrest on bank fraud charges and a few of his past misdeeds. It's a sad, but not unfamiliar story.
A quick google search of "Sean Jones" and his investment firm "Amoroq" and you begin to see a disturbing pattern. Not only is Jones a bad speller with a penchant for silly metaphors, but he's also a slimy fraudster.
Back in his post-NFL heyday, Sean Jones was an agent, "representing" top NFL players such as Courtney Brown and Julius Peppers. He was also a financial adviser who founded Amaroq, which advised not only many professional athlete clients, but was also paid $60,000 per year by the NFLPA to provide advice about its pension plan.
Amaroq listed a “who’s who” of famous sports clients, including John Elway, Dan Marino, Jeff Hostettler, Corey Dillon, Ed McCaffrey, Harris Barton, Aaron Taylor, and Courtney Brown. In reality, these were clients of sports agent Marvin Demoff, who had some type of business relationship with Sean Jones.
Amaroq's website provides some interesting lessons about investing (along with nonsensical words, poor spelling, and bad grammar).
At AMAROQ we utilize computer algrorithms[SIC] to do the combinationatorial [SIC IF THAT'S IN FACT AN ACTUAL WORD] mathematics and to identify a limited number of candidate portfolios.
Scoring the game should be more than just counting the runs. We seek to go beyond the numbers of a manager or a portfolio of managers, and explain the "whys" of manager and portfolio performance. While a rising tide may lift all boats, it takes constant oversight in order to differentiate investment skill from market performance. [OR IF YOU INVESTED WITH JONES, YOUR BOAT SINKS]
Jones did provide some decent advice which clearly neither he nor Amaroq's clients ever followed:
Amaroq Asset Management is in regular contact with all managers charged with investing client assets, and when the situation warrants we require managers to report all account activity on a daily basis in order to ensure appropriate oversight and risk control. [OH REALLY?]
We also assist our clients in determining the adequacy of communication materials, and developing customized presentations and materials for their plan participants. By allowing us to assist them, our clients have been able to successfully establish their programs while safely navigating the fiduciary waters that are so fought [THE WORD SHOULD BE FRAUGHT] with peril.
In a 2000 profile by Northeastern magazine (his alma mater), Jones said he managed a hedge fund. Apparently it wasn’t doing well. So bad, in fact, that he resorted to Yiddish to describe the fund’s poor performance. Said Jones, “It's putzing along. It's had its trials and tribulations”
Not only was Jones a former NFL player, but his firm once did business with the NFLPA. According to an undated ESPN.com article by Len Pasquarelli, “The problem for the NFLPA is that Jones' asset management company, Amaroq, is paid $60,000 annually by the union to help choose money managers with whom to invest funds. Documents that were filed by the NFLPA with the U.S. Department of Labor, and which were obtained by ESPN.com, confirm that amount.”
Len adds, "Jones has essentially been a poster boy for conflicts of interest since his retirement. He is noted as a 'prominent agent' in [a] magazine article, but rarely represents a player, instead turning over negotiations to Los Angeles-based agent Marvin Demoff, one of the pioneers of the business. And his cozy status with the NFLPA has raised eyebrows over the years."
Bottom line: I hope Jones' days working with NFL players, whether for a team or as an agent or financial advisor, are over.