Dan Snyder, the owner of the NFL’s Washington Commanders, is said to have committed financial crimes, including failing to report ticket receipts and withholding refundable deposits from season subscribers, a House panel alleges.
Lawmakers on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform raised the allegations against Snyder and the Commanders in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday.
The letter that came first obtained from the Washington Postalleges that Snyder “may have been involved in a disturbing, long-standing, and potentially unlawful pattern of financial conduct.”
At one point in 2016, the committee said, the team withheld up to $5 million from 2,000 season ticket holders while withholding prorated revenue from the league, according to the letter.
The allegations first came to light after one of the team’s longtime executives, Jason Friedman, denounced the football club’s alleged practices.
Friedman, a former vice president of sales and customer service, claimed to lawmakers that the team kept “two books” — one of which was used to underreport ticketing revenue to the NFL.
The Commanders have reportedly reported misleading data to the league, which requires their teams to pool gate receipts so they can be shared among the other clubs.
Ticket revenue is split among all 32 NFL teams, with 40% of it going into a visiting team fund. Such funds are one of the pillars of the league’s revenue-sharing commitment.
The Washington team has denied the allegations.
“The team categorically denies at all times any allegation of financial impropriety,” the commanders said in a statement. “We adhere to strict internal processes consistent with industry and accounting standards, are audited annually by a globally recognized independent accounting firm, and are also subject to periodic audits by the NFL.”
The team said it is fully cooperating with the House investigation.
Regarding allegations of false reporting of ticket proceeds, the team said that “at no time did the commanders withhold ticket proceeds” and that any person “who made any statement suggesting withholding of proceeds committed perjury, plain and simple.” – ie Friedman.
Friedman’s attorneys accused the team of “defaming” their client.
Commanders and team owners Snyder have been embroiled in scandals in recent years.
Earlier this year, the NFL hired former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White to investigate a claim that Snyder sexually harassed a team employee more than a decade ago.
Former Washington employee Tiffani Johnston told Congress that at a team dinner, Snyder groped her thigh and pushed her toward his limousine with his hand on her lower back.
Johnston worked as a cheerleader and marketing manager for the team in the 2000s.
Snyder denied Johnston’s allegations, calling them “blatant lies”.
At least five other women have made similar allegations against Snyder.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/12/nfl-owner-dan-snyder-engaged-in-unlawful-financial-conduct-congress/ NFL owner Dan Snyder ‘involved in unlawful financial conduct’: Congress