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Commanders deny money improprieties allegations in letter to FTC

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The Washington Commanders despatched an 18-web page letter to the chair of the Federal Trade Commission on Monday that described the allegations of fiscal improprieties created by a former staff worker and detailed by the Home Committee on Oversight and Reform as “baseless” and asserted that “no investigation is warranted.”

The rebuttal statements the committee’s letter, which was sent to the FTC on Tuesday, “relies exclusively on the uncorroborated, wrong testimony of a one disgruntled previous employee,” referring to former vice president of product sales and customer provider Jason Friedman, who worked for the crew for 24 years.

In an interview with the committee and as a result of shared email messages and documents, Friedman alleged that Washington engaged in a extended-managing practice of withholding refundable deposits from period ticket holders and hiding dollars that was supposed to be shared between NFL house owners.

The workforce explained the committee’s letter as “one-sided” and “uncorroborated” and bundled declarations from 4 former executives — workforce counsel David Donovan, chief running officer Mitch Gershman, director of finance Paul Szczenski and senior vice president Michael Dillow — as very well as files and text exchanges to dispute Friedman’s promises.

Congress aspects allegations of Commanders’ ‘unlawful’ perform to FTC

“We are confident that, had this referral not appear from a Congressional Committee, the FTC would exercising its discretion to drop to open an investigation primarily based on the uncorroborated and implausible allegations of a solitary disgruntled former employee, primarily one with this kind of noteworthy impairments to his reliability as set forth under,” examine the team’s letter, which was signed by lawyer Jordan Siev of Reed Smith LLP. “We respectfully counsel that the FTC should really not be motivated by the patina of credibility made by a congressional referral when the precise investigation pursued by the Committee in concern was conducted in these a one-sided, deficient, and partisan manner.”

The letter was dealt with to FTC chair Lina M. Khan and copied to Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), the Oversight Committee’s chairwoman Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Buyer Plan Republican leaders of the committee NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and attorneys typical Jason S. Miyares (R) of Virginia, Brian E. Frosh (D) of Maryland and Karl A. Racine (D) of D.C. amongst others.

In the course of the letter and its 17 accompanying displays, the workforce describes Friedman as an “untrustworthy” former worker who was fired for “professional misconduct” in October 2020 and later pleaded to be rehired. The letter stated Friedman “repeatedly berated his team, including minority women” and “created a tradition of fear.” Involved in the displays are e-mail purported to be sent from Friedman that include derogatory and misogynistic language.

Szczenski described Friedman’s statements as “speculative, uninformed guesswork” and mentioned he “had nearly no visibility into the Team’s accounting function. He was not existing at conferences of the accounting team or provided in [their] communications apart from in incredibly minimal situation when it associated his section,” according to the letter.

Friedman’s attorneys, Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, stated in a statement Monday that Friedman “stands by his testimony, which was truthful and based mostly on his activities with the workforce.” The lawyers previously have explained that Friedman has “contractual constraints” that prohibit him from speaking publicly about his allegations with regards to the crew.

“He is delighted to response adhere to-up concerns from Congress, the FTC, or any federal government agency,” the lawyers mentioned in Monday’s statement. “[Friedman] is also ready to protect himself publicly versus these allegations if Mr. [Daniel Snyder] permits him to do so. In the meantime, we will talk straight with the group about these demonstratively false allegations.”

The committee’s letter stated, centered on Friedman’s job interview and paperwork he delivered, that as of July 2016 “the staff experienced unreturned stability deposits for ‘around 2,000 accounts’ belonging to shoppers and followers totaling ‘approximately $5 million.’ ”

According to the committee’s letter, Friedman also reported the group preserved “two sets of textbooks,” which includes a established of economical information that ended up employed to underreport ticket revenue to the NFL. Friedman told the committee that the workforce misallocated ticket profits from Commanders online games and other activities, together with a Navy-Notre Dame university football activity and a Kenny Chesney live performance, so it wouldn’t be involved in the NFL’s earnings-sharing pool. Friedman instructed the committee that Washington avoided detection by charging a lot more for a ticket than it was stated for in the team’s manifest.

The committee cited documentation that showed the team’s fiscal improprieties might have extended to tickets registered in Commissioner Goodell’s name and proof that the income acquired through these procedures was identified internally as “juice.”

In the team’s letter, Donovan and Szczenski explained that league auditors experienced accessibility to all of the team’s financial data, such as all those from non-NFL occasions, such as live shows and college soccer games at FedEx Industry. The letter states that the distinct allegations of misappropriated profits cited by Friedman — the Navy-Notre Dame match and Chesney live performance — “were acknowledged and analyzed by the Team’s auditors” and its financial documents demonstrate that it supplied its auditors the income schedules as portion of its fiscal yr 2014 and 2015 audits.”

“The Team’s auditors, unsurprisingly, did not come across something amiss with the profits created by the Navy-Notre Dame game, and the Kenny Chesney live performance, simply because the Workforce booked the earnings for each function correctly,” the letter mentioned.

The group also denied that it referred to income concealed from the NFL as “juice.” Rather, it statements “juice” was slang for “upside in profits,” often employed in reference to the team’s revenue shared with brokers.

“If a broker marketed a ticket for earlier mentioned face worth,” the letter states, “the Staff and broker would split the revenue according to an agreed-upon share, which was referred to as the ‘juice.’ That revenue had a slang phrase involved with it in no way usually means it was hidden or misreported. Friedman’s speculation is, all over again, unfounded.”

In the committee’s letter, Friedman alleged that the team’s follow of withholding refundable safety deposits from season ticket-holders and putting in limitations for them to receive their dollars stretched over multiple many years. In accordance to the committee’s letter, Friedman said that the workforce would not accept refund requests by e mail and failed to advise all leaseholders of a change manufactured soon after 2000 no more time demanding stability deposits for new seat leases.

In reaction, the staff mentioned its selection of deposits for “most categories of seats” finished “approximately 1 year” just after Snyder acquired the group from the Jack Kent Cooke estate in 1999. In the letter, Szczenski reported that safety deposits had been recorded as a liability and not an asset, and that the crew “cannot do something with the cash except refund it when feasible or transform it to revenue in situation of a default.”

“Over the very last ten decades, the whole total of safety deposits applied to earnings — all due to defaults — is just above $200,000, an immaterial sum in comparison to the Team’s in general earnings,” the letter said.

Friedman, according to the original letter despatched to the FTC, advised the committee that he was instructed by group executives to get “juice” out of some dormant accounts. But the workforce denied this Monday and exclusively referenced a Sept. 12, 2013, e-mail from Friedman that it claims displays him as the a single proposing to take $100,000 from customers’ safety deposits.

Accompanying the team’s letter are various e-mail and textual content messages reported to be from Friedman in which he pleads with Snyder and group president Jason Wright to provide him back again. In the letter, the team mentioned that Friedman past requested to be rehired Jan. 4, 2022.

The Commanders’ denial of Friedman’s allegations nevertheless leaves unclear the ensuing motion by the FTC and included get-togethers. The FTC confirmed that it acquired the team’s letter but declined even more remark by way of a spokesman.

The Commanders’ denial of Friedman’s allegations however leaves unclear the ensuing action by the FTC and included parties.

The FTC verified that it acquired the team’s letter but declined even further comment through a spokesman.

“The Committee has been distinct that the aim of its investigation is on the team’s harmful workplace and the NFL’s managing of that issue, which is why the Committee presented the statements and files from Mr. Friedman about opportunity fiscal misconduct to the FTC to establish irrespective of whether more investigation is warranted,” a committee spokesperson mentioned Monday. “The workforce has failed to absolutely handle the troubles elevated in the Committee’s letter. If the team maintains that it has almost nothing to hide, it need to welcome an unbiased evaluate by the FTC, or the NFL, which is reportedly analyzing these difficulties as well.”

The team’s letter prompted a reaction from 8 women of all ages who earlier worked for the Commanders and have considering the fact that alleged sexual misconduct and verbal abuse from male co-employees.

The gals — Ana Nunez, Brittany Pareti, Dominique Dupras, Emily Applegate, Megan Imbert, Melanie Coburn, Monica Elliott and Tiffani Johnston — released a assertion on social media Monday that explained co-entrepreneurs Daniel and Tanya Snyder “started a smear campaign” versus Friedman “while completely deflecting and distracting the general public from the truth: that the Snyders operate a franchise on corrupt and poisonous actions.”

A spokesperson for Racine, D.C.’s legal professional general, explained in a assertion Friday that his office considers the allegations in-depth in the committee’s letter really serious and “if we uncover proof that they have violated District legislation, we will not be reluctant to choose motion.”

Frosh claimed in an job interview past Tuesday that “if what Mr. Friedman described is exact, it could be a violation of Maryland’s Consumer Defense Act.”

The NFL declined to comment Monday. The league claimed previous week that the allegations specific in the committee’s letter would drop less than the scope of the present NFL investigation staying done by attorney Mary Jo White.