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Commanders sued for cheating DC ticket holders of security deposit funds

In 2009, an employee told corporate officers that what the team was doing violated the contract's terms, however, officials claim the team continued its practices.

WASHINGTON — The Washington Commanders are being sued – again. 

D.C.'s Attorney General Karl Racine announced the District will be suing the NFL team for cheating ticket holders in D.C. out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a press release.

Officials say in the release that the Commanders "implemented an illegal scheme to cheat District ticket holders out of their deposits for season tickets and use the money for its own purposes."

According to the release, The Commanders have sold premium seating tickets to fans in D.C. since 1996 and officials say that some required a "substantial security deposit." Those deposits were promised to be refunded back to customers within 30 days of the contract's expiration, according to DC officials.

However, upon ticket holders' request for their deposit refund, officials said the Commanders purposefully made the refund process complicated "by imposing extra, burdensome conditions that were not previously adequately disclosed."

According to the attorney general, in 2009, an employee of the Commanders told corporate officers that what the team was doing violated the contract's terms, however, the team continued its practices.

The team has returned some of the money to customers, however, officials say that nearly $200,000 was still unreturned back in March 2022. Furthermore, the Commanders allegedly forfeited thousands of dollars from D.C. consumers' security deposits and have made that money into revenue for the team, according to the release.

The Office of the Attorney General is seeking a court order to force the Commanders to pay D.C. ticket holders back the money they are owed and stop their illegal practices. The Attorney General is also seeking financial penalties for violations of the CPPA.

This lawsuit comes after the Attorney General's Office announced they were suing Dan Snyder, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell for how little the public knew about an investigation of toxic workplace culture and sexual assault allegations. 

"The Commanders’ arrogance and blatant disregard for the law is a slap in the face to District residents who have supported the team for decades. We deserve better, and today my office is taking action yet again to hold them accountable," said Racine.

In a statement shared with WUSA9 a Commanders spokesperson stated:

"The Team has not accepted security deposits for over 20 years in the case of premium tickets and over a decade in the case of suites, and we began returning them to season ticket holders as early as 2004.  In 2014, as part of a comprehensive review, Team management was instructed to send notices to over 1,400 customers with deposits and return all security deposits requested.

Further, the team engaged an outside law firm and forensic auditors to conduct an extensive review of the team’s accounts which found no evidence that the team intentionally withheld security deposits that should have been returned to customers or that the team improperly converted any unclaimed deposits to revenue."

WATCH NEXT: Commanders, Snyder, NFL sued by DC for 'deceiving fans' during internal investigations

DC Attorney General Karl Racine is suing Washington Commanders' owner Dan Snyder, the National Football League and Commissioner Roger Goodell. 

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