Commanders to Be Investigated by Virginia AG After Alleged Financial Improprieties

Erin WalshApril 25, 2022

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - FEBRUARY 02: A detailed view of a Washington Commanders logo during the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Virginia Attorney General's office will investigate the Washington Commanders amid allegations the franchise took part in financial improprieties, according to a letter the team received Monday that was obtained by ESPN's John Keim.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission on April 12 and also informed Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares of the alleged financial improprieties, Keim added. The Washington D.C. and Maryland attorneys general were also informed of the allegations.

The news comes after a spokesperson for Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine said earlier this month that the AG's office wouldn't "hesitate to take action" against the Commanders if an investigation found they violated district law.

Former Commanders vice president of sales and customer service Jason Friedman, who was fired in October 2020, told the House Oversight Committee on March 14 that the franchise withheld security deposits from season-ticket holders or made them difficult to get back.

In addition, he said Washington kept two accounting books in order to keep money that would have been sent to the NFL's revenue-sharing pool.

Franchises are required to send 40 percent of ticket sales from every home game to the league, which then distributes the money to away teams.

The Commanders previously denied a March 31 report that the congressional committee was investigating the franchise for financial misconduct. They also denied engaging in financial improprieties:

"The team is not aware of any investigation by the House Oversight Committee regarding financial matters, despite vague and unsubstantiated claims today by anonymous sources. 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 committee is also investigating the Commanders for allegedly fostering a toxic workplace environment, including sexual harassment allegations against team owner Dan Snyder.

In addition, the NFL fined the franchise $10 million after conducting its own investigation. Snyder gave up day-to-day operations for a few months, and his wife, Tanya Snyder, took over.