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Commanders settle with Maryland AG over security deposits

The team has agreed to return security deposits and pay a $250,000 fine.

BALTIMORE — On the heels of a lawsuit filed by D.C.'s Attorney General over Commanders season ticket security deposits, Maryland's Attorney General has announced a settlement with the team related to the same thing. 

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced the settlement Friday. He alleges that the team collected security deposits from season ticket holders and other purchasers of tickets for seats in luxury suites. Under its contracts with ticketholders, the team was required to return the deposits within 30 days after their contracts for seat licenses expired or were terminated. The Commanders did not return the deposits to consumers unless they requested the return in writing. Frosh accused the team of violating the Consumer Protection Act when it failed to honor its contracts and return the deposit to consumers.

“For many years, the Commanders kept money that was not theirs. It belongs to their customers,” said Attorney General Frosh in a press statement.

The Commanders issued their own statement, reporting on findings from an external audit they commissioned. 

“The Washington Commanders has not accepted security deposits for more than 20 years in the case of premium tickets and more than a decade in the case of suites, and we began returning them to season ticket holders as early as 2004," a Commanders spokesperson wrote. "In 2014, as part of a comprehensive review, team management was instructed to send notices to more than 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 Commanders’ accounts and it 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.”

Under the settlement, the Commanders are required to refund all security deposits that have not yet been returned to consumers who are no longer ticketholders within 30 days. If any of the payments are undeliverable, the team must turn the funds over to be held as unclaimed funds.

The Commanders have also agreed to pay a $250,000 civil penalty.

Any fans who purchased season ticks or tickets to luxury suites and think they may be owed money should contact the Office of the Attorney General at 410-576-6569. 

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