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Commanders Probe Shows ‘Unlawful Pattern of Financial Conduct’

  • House Oversight Committee shared details of its investigation with the Federal Trade Commission.
  • A 20-page letter was sent to the FTC by the committee on Tuesday.
Commanders FTC Letter
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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The House Oversight Committee alleged the Washington Commanders committed a “troubling, long-running, and potentially unlawful pattern of financial conduct” in a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday. 

The 20-page letter detailed how for years the Commanders underreported ticket revenue to the NFL and alleged that owner Dan Snyder had knowledge of some of the schemes first reported by Front Office Sports on April 2. 

Jason Friedman, a former Commanders’ ticket sales executive who worked for the franchise for 24 years, provided much of the information to the committee used in the letter, including spreadsheets and emails. The attorneys general for Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell were sent copies of the letter signed by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York), the chair of the committee. 

Snyder Implicated in Scheme

The allegations of financial improprieties date back to right after Snyder purchased the franchise for $800 million in 1999. 

  • The Commanders “created artificial barriers to discourage customers from requesting” refundable deposits due to them. Friedman provided documents that showed the Commanders still held about $5 million in unreturned deposits from around 2,000 accounts as of July 2016. 
  • The team “repeatedly concealed ticket sales revenue that should have been shared with the NFL.”
  • The methods used to conceal revenue from the NFL was known internally as “the juice.”

“This new information on potential financial misconduct suggests that the rot under Dan Snyder’s leadership is much deeper than imagined,” Maloney said in a statement.

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