Washington Commanders to pay $625,000 to settle D.C. AG’s claims of mishandling fan ticket deposits

An in depth view of the brand new Washington Commanders uniforms following the announcement of the Washington Soccer Staff’s identify change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022 in Landover, Maryland.

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The NFL’s Washington Commanders pays $625,000 to settle allegations introduced by the Washington, D.C., legal professional basic that the group didn’t return followers’ ticket deposits, the AG’s workplace announced Monday.

Former D.C. Legal professional Normal Karl Racine sued the Commanders in November, alleging the group cheated residents out of their safety deposits collected from season ticket holders and used the cash for its personal functions. The lawsuit additionally claimed the group “deliberately sophisticated the return course of by imposing additional, burdensome circumstances that weren’t beforehand adequately disclosed.”

Racine alleged the Commanders bought premium seating tickets to D.C. followers since 1996, which typically required a safety deposit. Whereas the group promised tickets holders they’d get their deposits again inside 30 days of the contracts’ expiration, Racine alleged the group pocketed the cash, typically for over a decade, and spent it.

A Commanders spokesperson stated in an announcement the group hasn’t collected safety deposits in additional than a decade and has been “actively working to return any remaining deposits since 2014.”

“We’re happy to have reached an settlement on the matter with the D.C. legal professional basic and can work with the workplace to satisfy our obligations to our followers,” the spokesperson stated.

The group denied wrongdoing in settling the claims.

Per the settlement settlement, the Commanders pays greater than $200,000 to affected followers, in addition to $425,000 to the district for “restitution, attorneys’ charges, prices related to the investigation and contributions to the District’s litigation help fund,” in line with a information launch from the workplace of Brian Schwalb, the present AG.

The settlement stipulates the Commanders should conduct a public document seek for affected followers and try to notify them by a number of means, together with cellphone calls and emails. The group additionally must prominently disclose the refund course of on its web site and supply the legal professional basic’s workplace with “common studies” documenting its makes an attempt to return the money.

In an announcement tied to the settlement settlement, Schwalb stated his workplace “will keep strict oversight over the Commanders” to make sure followers are correctly reimbursed for the complete refund they’re entitled to.

“Our workplace takes significantly the duty to implement DC shopper safety legal guidelines by holding accountable anybody that tries to use District shoppers,” he added.

The Commanders have been hit with a number of claims of misconduct from contained in the group’s entrance workplace in recent times. In 2022, a report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee said the NFL and the Commanders had misled the general public regarding an investigation into long-standing misconduct within the group’s office.

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