D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has announced a new lawsuit against the Washington Commanders NFL team, this time for allegedly defrauding cardholders of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The complaint alleges that Pro Football Inc., the owner of the Commanders, implemented a “decades-long illegal plan” to withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars in bail bonds fans paid for season tickets and “converted that money into revenue for the team.” use it for your own purposes.”
Last week, the attorney general’s office announced a separate lawsuit against the team, owner Dan Snyder, and the NFL for allegedly conspiring to mislead county residents over an investigation into a toxic work culture and sexual assault allegations.
“The commanders’ arrogance and blatant disregard for the law is a slap in the face to the district residents who have supported the team for decades,” Racine said in Thursday’s latest press release.
CNN has contacted the commanders about the latest lawsuit.
For the past 26 years, the Washington Commanders (formerly known as the Redskins) have sold tickets for premium seats, “some of which required the payment of a substantial bond to maintain consumer access to the seats,” the complaint said.
“While the team promised those consumers through its contracts that it would automatically refund the deposits within 30 days of contract expiration, the team instead deceptively held on to this money – sometimes for more than a decade – and used the money for its own purposes,” the complaint said.
While some of the money was returned to cardholders, “as of March 2022, the team still had nearly $200,000 in unreturned bond deposits paid by district consumers,” it added.
Those who got their bail back had to contact the team and “submit a new signed request by mail,” the complaint says, despite initial contracts promising that the bail would be “automatically refunded” with no further action.
The AG said it is seeking an injunction to compel the team to stop these practices and pay the district’s cardholders what is owed them, as well as financial penalties for alleged violations of the Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
The other lawsuit, filed Nov. 10, alleges that Snyder lied to D.C. residents when he denied knowing anything about allegations of a hostile work environment and culture of sexual harassment within the team, Racine said. Those deceptive attempts were designed to keep fans in the dark and increase profits for the team, the lawsuit said.