Washington commanders sued by DC for cheating fans out of ticket money

The Washington Commanders were again sued by the District of Columbia, this time accused of plotting to defraud fans out of ticket money.

DC Attorney General Karl A. Racine on Thursday announced he is filing a civil court case against the NFL team for its actions in taking season ticket holders’ money and keeping it for its own purposes.

It is the second civil lawsuit filed by Racine’s office in eight days, after last week it filed a complaint in DC Superior Court that the commanders, owner Dan Snyder, commissioner Roger Goodell and the league colluded to deceive the fans on a survey of the team’s workplace culture.

Racine said in a statement that the club’s ticket policy in question “is another example of gross mismanagement and illegal conduct by Commanders executives who appear determined to lie, cheat and steal from district residents in any way possible”.

In the latest complaint, the district says the commanders in March still held nearly $200,000 in unreturned security deposits paid by season ticket holders who qualify as DC consumers under the Consumer Protection Procedures Act.

The complaint alleges that the team has “deceptively” withheld deposits beyond the 30 days stipulated in contracts with ticket holders – sometimes for more than a decade – and said they have capitalized on consumers forgetting money or having I imposed extra and burdensome conditions to get them back.

A Commanders spokesperson did not immediately have a response when contacted for comment.

This lawsuit comes after the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform in April referred its investigation focusing on workplace misconduct to the Federal Trade Commission over potential financial irregularities, which the commanders denied in a subsequent letter to the FTC.

The attorneys general of D.C. and Virginia then opened parallel investigations, and the league instructed former US Attorney Mary Jo White to look into Washington’s questionable business practices in withholding ticket revenue not only from fans but other teams as well. .

The latest lawsuit has kept one of several multi-pronged investigations into the team ongoing, while another is expected to conclude early next year.

The high-ranking Republican on the oversight committee said his investigation would end early next year when his party takes control of the House of Representatives. “It’s over,” Kentucky Rep. James Comer said in a brief statement, which came after the Associated Press and other outlets predicted Republicans would win a narrow House majority for the 118th Congress that will begin meeting on January 3.

Democrats led by New York Chair Carolyn Maloney and Illinois Consumer and Economic Policy Subcommittee Chair Raja Krishnamoorthi have chaired the investigation since last year. Comer promised over the summer to stop it if Republicans gained control of the House from the midterm elections, as expected.

The team in a statement through counsel praised the decision to drop the case.

“We applaud Rep. Comer for his leadership in ending a private company investigation, which was correctly described by sitting Congressmen as a ‘sham’ and ‘abuse of power,'” attorneys John Brownlee and Stuart Nash said, adding that the survey didn’t interview any current employees and was based largely on those who were fired or left the organization.

“The Congressional investigation has added nothing of value to this process and, in fact, the independent firm (Vestry Laight) that monitors commanders’ workplace improvements has identified the investigation as a roadblock to further progress.”

A spokesman for the House Oversight Committee said there have been no updates on the investigation, which included virtual testimony from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a public hearing and a virtual private deposition from Washington owner Dan Snyder that lasted for more. of 10 hours, the contents of which have yet to be released.

Dan and wife Tanya recently hired a firm to explore possible transactions, which could include the sale of part or all of the team Snyder has owned since 1999. Racine said last week that Snyder would still be a defendant in the initial lawsuit even though sell the commanders.

NFL AP: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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