The NFL’s Washington Commanders franchise has reached a settlement with Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and the Consumer Protection Division, concerning its security deposit practices.
Pro-Football Inc, which trades at the Washington Commanders, will also have to pay a $250,000 (£212,000/€244,000) civil penalty for collecting security deposits from season ticket-holders and other buyers of tickets for seats in luxury suites.
According to a press release from the Maryland Attorney General’s office, under its contracts with ticket-holders, the team was required to return deposits within 30 days after their contracts for seat licences expired or were terminated. However, the Commanders did not return the deposits to consumers unless they requested this in writing.
Attorney General Frosh accused the team of violating the Consumer Protection Act when it failed to return the deposits, which was required by its contracts with ticket-holders and buyers.
“For many years, the Commanders kept money that was not theirs. It belongs to their customers,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Today [Friday]’s settlement will require the team to return the monies owed to consumers. The Commanders will pay a penalty, and they will be enjoined from engaging in similar practices in the future.”
The settlement means the Commanders, formerly the Washington Redskins, will be required to refund all security deposits that have not yet been returned to those that are no longer ticket-holders within 30 days.
If any payments are undeliverable, the team must turn the funds over to be held as unclaimed funds.
The settlement also contains an injunction requiring the team not to mislead consumers about security deposit practices. The team must return any security deposits to fans that cancel or terminate their contracts to purchase tickets.
The case was first referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the United States Congress, Committee on Oversight and Reform in April this year.