The NFL’s Washington Commanders are being accused in a lawsuit of withholding “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from fans whose premium seat ticket packages expired.
The lawsuit was filed by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine on Thursday. It said the team made contracts for premium seating – club level seating, shared suite seating, and private skybox suites – some of which lasted 10 years, with security deposits averaging $1,200.
The lawsuit said the team “promised those consumers through its contracts that it would automatically return the deposits within 30 days of the contract’s expiration, [but] the team instead deceptively held onto these funds — sometimes for over a decade — and used the money for its own purposes.” It claimed as of March, the team “still held nearly $200,000 in unreturned security deposits paid by District consumers.”
In a tweet, Racine claimed “Commanders executives seem determined to lie, cheat, and steal from D.C. residents in as many ways as possible. We’re holding them accountable.”
The lawsuit claims in 2009, the team created a requirement that those requesting a refund of their security deposits needed a signed written request, even though that wasn’t included in the original contract. The lawsuit alleges a team employee notified the corporate offices that the requirement violated the original contracts, but the team continued the practice.
A Commanders spokesman told Forbes the team hired outside forensic auditors who “found no evidence that the team intentionally withheld security deposits that should have been returned to customers or that the team improperly converted any unclaimed deposits to revenue.”
This is the second lawsuit Racine has filed against the Commanders this month. Last week, Racine’s office accused the Commanders, owner Daniel Snyder, the NFL, and Commissioner Roger Goodell in a lawsuit of lying about an investigation into the team’s toxic workplace environment to protect the team and league’s image and their abilities to make money. The Commanders and the NFL denied the allegation.
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