The Feds Are Investigating the Washington Commanders and Daniel Snyder – BlackSportsOnline
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The Feds Are Investigating the Washington Commanders and Daniel Snyder

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder shocked the sports world a little today after it was announced that he had hired Bank of America to look into selling the team.

Things have now taken a somewhat unexpected turn.

According to Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN, the US attorney’s office investigates the Commanders over some financial improprieties.

The U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of Virginia has opened a criminal investigation into allegations that the Washington Commandersengaged in financial improprieties, two sources familiar with the matter confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

The sources said that prosecutors are focused on several areas and that the inquiry was triggered by a letter the House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent to the Federal Trade Commission and several attorneys general in April that alleged deceptive business practices. Attorneys general in Virginia and Washington, D.C., also are investigating allegations of financial impropriety.

One former employee testified before Congress, saying the team had two separate financial books: one with underreported ticket revenue that went to the NFL and the full, complete picture. According to testimony, Snyder was aware of the numbers shared with the league while also being privy to the actual data. The business practice was known as “juice” inside Washington’s front office.

According to other testimony, financial misconduct included making it intentionally difficult for season-ticket holders to recoup refundable deposit money, counting some of those leftover funds as a different kind of revenue that doesn’t need to be shared with the league and shifting money from ticket sales for NFL games to other events at FedEx Field as a way of hiding that money from the league. The committee in the letter shared spreadsheet data showing evidence of deposits that were not returned. Citing emails and the testimony of Jason Friedman, a longtime vice president of sales and customer service, the letter said ticket sales from Washington games were shifted to a 2013 Kenny Chesney concert and a 2014 Navy-Notre Dame college football game as a way to “juice” revenue and keep it off the books shared with the NFL.

The Commanders are reportedly cooperating with the federal and state investigators but also say that the reports are falsehoods based on anonymous sources and that they’re confident that the investigators will see that the allegations are false after the investigation.

Wonder if this is why Dan Snyder is looking into selling the team.

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