Virginia AG to Investigate NFL's Commanders' Finances | Athletic Business

Virginia AG to Investigate NFL's Commanders' Finances

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The Virginia attorney general’s office will launch an investigation into the Washington Commanders' finances, including whether the NFL team withheld security deposits from season ticket holders.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission on April 12, as well as to the office of Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares as well as to the attorney generals for Maryland and Washington, D.C., informing them of alleged financial improprieties by the team.

ESPN reported that the attorney general’s office sent a letter to the Commanders on Monday, stating that Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares felt it was "responsibility to carefully examine the material facts after it was brought to my attention."

Miyares has requested full cooperation and transparency from the team.

The Commanders have denied all allegations against the team, saying in a statement:

"The team categorically denies any suggestion of financial impropriety of any kind at any time. We adhere to strict internal processes that are consistent with industry and accounting standards, are audited annually by a globally respected independent auditing firm, and are also subject to regular audits by the NFL. We continue to cooperate fully with the Committee's work."

The House Oversight and Reform Committee during a recent hearing questioned former employees and examined emails and texts related to allegations of sexual harassment by team executives.

During that hearing, former team employee Jason Friedman, a former vice president of sale and customer service who spent 24 years with the franchise before being fired in October of 2020, provided email exchanges with former high-ranking officials.

According to ESPN, “Friedman accused the team of withholding security deposits from season-ticket holders -- or making them hard to obtain -- and of keeping two accounting books, allowing them to keep money that would have been earmarked for the NFL's revenue sharing pool.”

The team responded to the FTC on April 18 with 105-page document rebutting the claims, and suggesting Friedman was s disgruntled employee that would not have been included in accounting meetings.

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

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