DC, Virginia’s Attorney General will investigate the commanders

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Attorneys General Karl A. Racine of DC and Jason S. Miyares of Virginia are investigating a variety of charges against the Washington Commanders and their owner, Daniel Snyder.

Racine’s office said Monday it has investigated the team and Snyder for “allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace, the team’s cooperation with and statements about the investigation of those allegations, and more recently, the team’s ticket sales practices.”

This announcement came after Miyares told the team earlier Monday that his office will investigate allegations of financial inadequacy from Commanders and Snyder, which were described this month by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. The team has denied having committed any kind of financial irregularities.

“The disturbing details of dishonesty from the Washington Commanders and Dan Snyder that we have seen in extensive public reporting are deeply troubling,” Racine, a Democrat, said in a statement released by his office. “No one should be abused in the workplace, and no organization can evade the law. Commanders’ players and staff, and district residents, deserve a thorough investigation that clarifies what happened and holds them accountable for any illegal behavior.”

Congress tells the FTC about allegations of officers’ ‘illegal’ behavior

Racine’s office said their investigation into the harassment allegations “has been ongoing since the fall of 2021 based on both public reporting and independent investigative work.” The office said it has obtained more than 500,000 pages of documents from the Commanders and the NFL, adding that “both still provide more for review.”

Earlier, Miyares revealed his office investigation in a three-paragraph letter to Jordan Siev, a lawyer for the team.

“The Office of the Attorney General of Virginia is conducting an official investigation into this case,” wrote Miyares, a Republican. “To be clear, I have not prejudged the questions raised concerning the commanders. However, I see it as my responsibility to carefully examine the essential facts concerning this matter after it has been brought to its attention. I request in full cooperation and transparency from your client during this request. “

The commanders declined to comment on the new inquiries, instead referring to an earlier statement in which they denied having committed economic injustices.

“The team categorically rejects any proposal of financial unfairness of any kind at any time,” the team said in this statement. “We adhere to strict internal processes that comply with industry and accounting standards, are audited annually by a globally respected independent audit firm and are also subject to regular audits by the NFL. We continue to cooperate fully on the committee’s work.”

Virginia’s investigation will be conducted by Steven G. Popps, a deputy attorney general, according to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post.

Racine and Miyares were among the three Advocates General copied in a letter dated April 12 from Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (DN.Y.), Chair of Parliament’s Monitoring Committee, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), Chair of the Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee, to Lina M. Khan, Chair of the Federal Trade Commission. That letter said Snyder and the commanders “may have been involved in a worrying, protracted and potentially illegal pattern of economic behavior.” The detailed allegations made to the committee by Jason Friedman, a former ticket manager for the team.

The other state attorney copied on the committee’s letter – Maryland’s Brian E. Frosh, a Democrat – said earlier that if Friedman’s allegations were true, the team could have violated the state’s consumer protection laws. Frosh said Monday that his office will not discuss investigations.

The FTC has not commented on the allegations other than acknowledging receipt of the committee’s letter.

Commanders reject allegations of financial misconduct in a lengthy letter to the FTC

“We are pleased that the Attorney General of Virginia will conduct an official investigation into the facts our client revealed about his experiences while working for the Washington Commanders,” Friedman’s attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz said in a statement. “He is prepared to cooperate fully and answer any questions from the Virginia Attorney General’s office or any other government agency.”

Friedman, a former vice president of sales and customer service who worked for the franchise for 24 years, told the committee that the team withheld as much as $ 5 million in refundable deposit from season card holders and also hidden revenue to be shared between NFL owners, according to the letter written by Maloney and Krishnamoorthi.

According to that letter, Friedman told the committee that the team maintained “two sets of books,” including a set of financial records used to underreport certain ticket revenue to the NFL. The letter described detailed allegations that Commanders wrongly attributed revenue from a Navy-Notre Dame college football game at FedEx Field or a Kenny Chesney concert so it would not be part of the NFL’s revenue sharing pool.

The letter referred to evidence which it said indicated that the revenue obtained by the team through such funds was internally known as “juice.” The team’s financial irregularities may have extended to tickets registered in the name of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the letter said.

The commanders dismissed the charges in a letter dated April 18 from Siev to the FTC. The team’s letter called the charges “baseless” and claimed “no investigation is warranted.”

Congressional Republicans, Democrats sparring over Commander’s claims

Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), The committee’s ranking Republican member, wrote in a two-page letter Thursday to Maloney that the investigation was “ruthless.” Republicans have consistently questioned the committee’s investigation into the NFL’s handling of sexual harassment allegations in the team’s workplace and allegations of financial injustice.

Maloney said in a response to Comer’s letter in a statement Thursday that “the committee’s investigation into the team’s toxic workplace culture and the NFL’s handling of that case will continue so we can ensure employers are held accountable for their behavior and that U.S. workers are safe from harassment, discrimination and other forms of dishonesty in the workplace. “

Laura Vozzella, Erin Cox and Liz Clarke contributed to this report.

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