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Virginia AG to investigate Commanders’ alleged financial misconduct

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares told the Washington Commanders in a letter Monday that his office will launch an investigation into allegations regarding the team’s business practices.

“To be clear, I have not prejudged the issues raised regarding the Commanders,” Miyares wrote. “However, I view it as my responsibility to carefully examine the material facts regarding this matter after it was brought to my attention. I request full cooperation and transparency from your client during this inquiry.”

The House Oversight & Reform Committee told the Federal Trade Commission in a letter this month that it had obtained evidence that Commanders owner Daniel Snyder “may have engaged in a troubling, long-running, and potentially unlawful pattern of financial conduct” that took advantage of the team’s fans.

Two main allegations are at the core of the dispute: that Washington illegally withheld refundable security deposits from ticket holders, and that executives kept two sets of books to hide revenue from the NFL in order to share less in the league’s revenue-sharing pool.

The Commanders formally responded last week by issuing a letter to the FTC that rebutted individual points made in the testimony of former ticket executive Jason Friedman, while painting Friedman as a disgruntled ex-employee who had been angling to return to the team.

The Commanders’ team headquarters are in Ashburn, a suburb in Northern Virginia. They hold their training camp in Richmond, Va., and are considering building a stadium in the state.

Three sites in Northern Virginia had been proposed, but the state legislature reportedly planned to cut a proposed financing package from $1 billion to $350 million.

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