The NFL’s Washington Commanders denied a number of allegations of economic impropriety in a letter despatched Monday to the united statesFederal Commerce Fee.
The 19-page letter — together with testimony, emails and different paperwork — got here as a response to the U.S. Home Committee on Oversight and Reform asking the FTC to look into the crew’s enterprise practices. There are greater than 80 pages of signed affidavits, emails and textual content message exchanges laid out because the crew’s proof.
The committee final week advised the FTC it discovered proof of misleading enterprise practices over the span of greater than a decade, together with withholding ticket income from visiting groups and refundable deposits from followers. The NFL mentioned it engaged Securities and Trade Fee chair Mary Jo White “to assessment probably the most critical issues raised by the committee.”
The letter, signed by Jordan W. Siev from the regulation agency Reed Smith, denies all of these allegations and takes purpose on the motives and character of former crew VP of gross sales and customer support Jason Friedman, whose testimony towards the crew framed the committee’s advice.
Siev argues no monetary investigation is warranted, saying the committee by no means requested details about the allegations made, which the Commanders imagine would clear them of any wrongdoing.
“The committee didn’t request a single doc from the crew; the committee didn’t invite a single consultant of the crew to deal with the reality of the issues contained within the committee’s letter; and the committee didn’t pose inquiries to the crew to reply in writing about its allegations, or present any mechanism in any way for the crew to deal with the reality of the allegations,” the letter mentioned. “Had the committee posed any of those questions or requests to the crew, the crew may — and would — simply and totally have rebutted every allegation.”
Congress started wanting into the crew’s office misconduct after the league didn’t launch a report detailing the findings of an impartial investigation into the matter, which led to a $10 million tremendous however no different self-discipline. The committee mentioned the NFL and the crew “have taken steps to withhold key paperwork and knowledge.”
In response to the crew’s letter, the Home Oversight Committee mentioned Monday its focus was on the poisonous office, which is why it handed paperwork and statements to the FTC about potential monetary misconduct to see whether or not a further investigation is warranted.
“The crew has failed to completely deal with the problems raised within the committee’s letter,” the committee mentioned in an announcement. “If the crew maintains that it has nothing to cover, it ought to welcome an impartial assessment by the FTC, or the NFL.”
Friedman testified earlier than Congress saying the crew had two separate monetary books: one with underreported ticket income that went to the NFL and one with the complete, full image. Based on testimony, proprietor Dan Snyder was conscious of the numbers shared with the league whereas additionally being aware about the precise knowledge.
Within the crew’s letter to the FTC, former director of finance Paul Szczenski is quoted as saying, “I can state unequivocally that I by no means helped keep, or noticed anybody else keep, a `second set’ of books.” The crew additionally cites declarations from former chief working officer Mitch Gershman and former normal counsel David Donovan, together with emails and different paperwork to refute allegations cited by the oversight committee.
The crew known as Friedman’s accusations baseless, false and reckless and painted him as a disgruntled former worker. Legal professionals Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who symbolize Friedman, mentioned in an announcement to The Related Press their shopper is ready to defend himself publicly if Snyder permits him to take action, however within the meantime would talk instantly with the crew about what they known as “demonstrably false allegations.”
“Mr. Friedman stands by his testimony, which was truthful and primarily based on his experiences with the crew,” Banks and Katz mentioned. “He’s pleased to reply follow-up questions from Congress, the FTC, or any authorities company.”
In an announcement posted on social media, eight ladies who have been former workers mentioned the crew began a “smear marketing campaign” to spoil Friedman’s profession.
“We’re harm and disgusted on the clear try by the Snyders and the Washington Commanders workers to assault Jason and his character, whereas fully deflecting and distracting the general public from the reality: that the Snyders constructed a franchise on corrupt and poisonous habits,” mentioned the assertion, which was signed by Ana Nunez, Brittany Pareti, Dominique Dupras, Emily Applegate, Megan Imbert, Melanie Coburn, Monica Elliott and Tiffani Johnston.
Photograph: A Washington Commanders helmet is displayed at an NFL soccer information convention in Ashburn, Va., Thursday, March 17, 2022. The NFL’s Washington Commanders denied a number of allegations of economic impropriety in a letter written to the Federal Commerce Fee. The 105-page letter together with testimony, emails and different paperwork comes as a response to the U.S. Home Oversight and Reform Committee asking the FTC to look into the crew’s enterprise practices. (AP Photograph/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
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