Criminal Investigation Reportedly Opened Regarding Washington Commanders Finances

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

If the Washington Commanders thought that they were in trouble before, this latest news is not going to ease their nerves. The NFL team is now the subject of a criminal investigation. A report today from ESPN says that the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of Virginia has opened an investigation regarding “financial improprieties” the team may have taken part in.

ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. wrote that the federal prosecutors are looking at “several areas.” The House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission as well as a number of lawyers back in April. The letter alleged the issues at hand, like various shady business practices.

The term “financial impropriety” comes up multiple times. That can mean a number of things, it’s improperly doing business in other words. It could be bribery or financial fraud, or a misrepresentation of facts in regard to assets and income. In this case, it has to do with a former employee and his allegations against the Washington Commanders.

Jason Friedman, former vice president of sales and customer service spoke with the committee in March of this year. He explained that the team had withheld security deposits from their season ticket holders and claimed that the team had two accounting books to keep money from going into the NFL’s revenue pool.

These are just allegations for now and the Washington Commanders have denied any wrongdoing.

Washington Commanders Release Statement Via Attorney

ESPN said that they tried to reach out to the team for comment, but were instead turned to the attorney John Brownlee who works for Holland & Knight and represents the Commanders.

“It is not surprising that ESPN is publishing more falsehoods based solely on anonymous sources – given today’s announcement … We are confident that, after these agencies have had a chance to review the documents and complete their work, they will come to the same conclusion as the team’s internal review – that these allegations are simply untrue.”

There has been a lot of pressure on the Washington Commanders’ owner Dan Snyder to sell the team. With more bad news coming their way, it feels like the whole world is against eh NFL organization. However, if the allegations are found to be true it will be another mark against Snyder and his leadership.