Congress details Commanders’ alleged financial improprieties to FTC

(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Dan Snyder
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Dan Snyder /

Just when you thought Dan Snyder’s bingo card was all filled, the longtime Washington Commanders‘ owner manages to create more slots.

With each passing month, Snyder’s rap sheet grows. His latest round of run-ins include hiring an independent investigative team to look into the allegations levied against him by Tiffani Johnston, which the NFL swiftly commandeered.

Around that same time, the league accused Snyder of withholding documents during the investigation into the team’s workplace culture.

Most recently, Snyder — and thereby Washington — were accused of withholding ticket revenue that’s required to be shared with other teams. That bombshell came just days after Front Office Sports reported Congress is investigating the Commanders for potential financial improprieties.

We know have an update on said investigation.

On Tuesday, Congress alleged that Snyder has committed financial crimes, including failing to report ticket revenue (40% of home ticket sales is required for every team) and suppressing refundable deposits from season-ticket holders.

The Commanders are being accused of scamming both the NFL and their season-ticket holders.

Per the Washington Post, the House Oversight and Reform Committee sent a 20-page letter to the Federal Trade Commission alleging Snyder withheld as much as $5 million in refundable deposits from season-long subscribers.

"“Washington may have engaged in a troubling, long-running, and potentially unlawful pattern of financial conduct that may have victimized thousands of team fans and the National Football League,” the Committee wrote in a statement on Tuesday. “The Commanders may have intentionally withheld millions of dollars in refundable deposits owed to fans, and concealed revenues that were owed to the NFL as part of the League’s revenue-sharing agreement.”"

How did the Committee obtain the evidence that it has since passed on to the FTC? That would be one of Washington’s former long-serving executives, Jason Friedman, who served as vice president of sales and customer service.

As if often the case with scandals of this magnitude, a whistle-blower is needed to get the wheels moving, and Friedman has done just that, if not more. Here’s what Friedman shared with the Committee, according to the letter.

"“(Friedman) provided the Committee with information and documents indicating that the Commanders routinely withheld security deposits that should have been returned to customers who had purchased multiyear season tickets for specific seats, referred to as seat leases,” and that “team executives directed employees to establish roadblocks to prevent customers from obtaining the security deposits they were due — effectively allowing the team to retain that money.”"

Friedman further explained that Snyder and former Chief Operating office Mitch Gershman instructed him to locate “dormant” fan accounts where the uncredited deposits could easily be transferred back into Washington’s system. Those transfers were referred to as “juice.” Per Friedman, the team would then convert the deposit so that it wouldn’t have to be dispersed across the league.

If Friedman has documents (hard evidence) to support his assertions, Snyder and Washington would be proven guilty of withholding money from the other 31 teams. In other words, Snyder could yet again have a major problem on his hands.

Despite having the reputation of a habitual line-stepper, which includes troubling treatment of female employees, picking the NFL’s pockets could unfortunately be the final nail in Snyder’s coffin. We wouldn’t expect an immediate change in ownership, but 2022 could very well go down as Snyder’s last hoorah.

We could only be so lucky.

Next. Dan Snyder should be on thin ice with NFL. dark