Report: U.S. Attorney in Virginia has opened criminal investigation of Commanders
As a buyout possible looms for Commanders owner Daniel Snyder, a perp walk remains theoretically possible.
Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN.com reports that the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia has launched a criminal investigation regarding allegations that the team engaged in financial improprieties. The probe centers on several issues, and it was sparked by the letter sent in April by the House Oversight Committee to the Federal Trade Commission regarding allegedly deceptive business practices.
“It is not surprising that ESPN is publishing more falsehoods based solely on anonymous sources -- given today’s announcement,” Commanders outside counsel John Brownlee said in a statement issued to ESPN. “We are confident that, after these agencies have had a chance to review the documents and complete their work, they will come to the same conclusion as the team’s internal review -- that these allegations are simply untrue.”
In an interview last Thursday with #PFTPM, Brownlee didn’t rule out potential litigation against ESPN regarding the contents of a lengthy report from 20 days ago suggesting, among other things, that Snyder has gathered “dirt” on other owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell as a shield against being forced to sell the team.
The Oversight Committee accused the Commanders of withholding ticket revenue from the NFL’s visiting-team pool, and of failing to refund security deposits made by season-ticket holders.
Currently, the Commanders and Snyder are being investigated by the league, the Oversight Committee, multiple state attorneys general, and now the federal prosecutor in Eastern Virginia. It’s unclear whether there’s fire at the bottom of the smoke, but there’s plenty of smoke.