The City of Washington D.C. has decided to take up a case involving a man who scammed an adult recreation soccer league out of $120,000 in field rental fees.
Larry Washington of Laurel, Md., charged the Washington International Soccer League roughly $100 per hour to play on the fields at four area high schools between 2009 and 2013, despite the fact he had no authority to do so. According to ABC affiliate WJLA, one of the fields in question is the "prestigious," relatively new and well-maintained synthetic turf field at Dunbar High School.
The league's commissioner became suspicious when teams would show up to fields that were locked or already in use, and filed suit 2016 under the whistleblower provision's of the District's False Claims Act. The lawsuit was sealed while the District investigated.
After investigating, the D.C. Attorney General’s office is seeking damages, penalties and costs that could total more than $370,000. Washington also faces jail time.
"The purpose of this lawsuit is to hold Mr. Washington accountable for fraudulently pocketing funds that rightly belong to DCPS," said attorney general Karl Racine. "We are also warning others that cheating the District of Columbia will not be tolerated."
According to WTOP radio in Washington D.C., the proper way to rent a DCPS athletic field is to fill out an application, get it approved by the school's principal, and submit it to the D.C. Department of General Services Realty Office.