Virginia AG opens probe into Washington Commanders' alleged financial misconduct

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Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares confirmed this week that his office is investigating alleged financial misconduct by the Washington Commanders after a congressional committee raised the issue with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this month. 

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform made the allegations in a letter on April 12, saying that “senior executives and the team’s owner, Daniel Snyder, may have engaged in a troubling, long-running, and potentially unlawful pattern of financial conduct that victimized thousands of team fans and the National Football League.” 

Miyares told a team lawyer in a letter on Monday that he has “not prejudged the issues” and feels it is his “responsibility to carefully examine the material facts regarding this matter.”

The helmet of Washington Commanders NFL football team new quarterback Carson Wentz sits on a table during a news conference in Ashburn, Va., Thursday, March 17, 2022.

The helmet of Washington Commanders NFL football team new quarterback Carson Wentz sits on a table during a news conference in Ashburn, Va., Thursday, March 17, 2022.
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The congressional committee’s investigation leans partly on the testimony of Jason Friedman, a former VP of sales and customer service for the Washington Commanders, and other former employees. 

COMMANDERS HELD BACK REVENUE OWED TO VISITING TEAMS: REPORT

One former executive alleged that the team exploited the league’s revenue-sharing practices by keeping “two sets of books,” one with the full accounting and one with underreported revenue numbers. 

Dan Snyder, center, co-owner and co-CEO of the Washington Commanders, adjusts his mask as he arrives to unveil his NFL football team's new identity, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Landover, Md.

Dan Snyder, center, co-owner and co-CEO of the Washington Commanders, adjusts his mask as he arrives to unveil his NFL football team’s new identity, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Landover, Md.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The committee also found that the team may have withheld refundable security deposits on multi-year seat leases, according to the report. 

The Washington Commanders have denied any wrongdoing and said the investigation isn’t warranted. 

“The committee did not request a single document from the team; the committee did not invite a single representative of the team to address the truth of the matters contained in the committee’s letter; and the committee did not pose questions to the team to answer in writing about its allegations, or provide any mechanism whatsoever for the team to address the truth of the allegations,” Jordan W. Siev, a lawyer for the Commanders, wrote in a letter earlier this month.”

A detailed view of the new Washington Commanders uniforms following the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022, in Landover, Maryland. 

A detailed view of the new Washington Commanders uniforms following the announcement of the Washington Football Team’s name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022, in Landover, Maryland. 
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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It’s the latest controversy to hit the Washington franchise, as the NFL fined the team $10 million last year after an investigation revealed what the league called a “highly unprofessional” workplace. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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