A.J. Perez has a new report on Front Office Sports about Dan Snyder, the Mary Jo White investigation, and the continuing scrutiny he is receiving for the team’s toxic workplace and financial improprieties. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform concluded their report last year, but that investigation has led to multiple new investigations, including the NFL’s which is being led by Mary Jo White. There have also been recent reports of a $55 million line of credit that Snyder received without the knowledge or approval of his former minority partners. Dan Snyder also took out another loan of $450 million to help fund the $875 million buyout of the minority owners that he was feuding with over the team’s finances. Snyder received a debt waiver from the NFL to take on that additional debt which helped put his total debt over $1 billion.
Perez wrote that these loans are a part of the investigation in the team’s finances and Snyder potential misuse of them.
How Snyder used some of the money he took to buy out his three former partners has come under scrutiny by White, the two sources said.
While the NFL doesn’t loan the money, it backs and can even make arrangements for the loans on an owner’s behalf. These loans are typically for constructing new stadiums or renovating existing ones, but most loans have guidelines.
White is examining whether Snyder used any of the NFL-backed loans in violation of whatever guidelines that came attached to the loan, sources told FOS.
It was also recently reported that Dan Snyder was taking a salary for his position of CEO of the company. This $10 million salary was stopped during the pandemic, but Perez is reporting that Snyder is once again taking an 8 figure salary, and also gave himself a substantial raise.
Snyder re-established his eight-figure salary and gave himself what one source described as a “substantial” raise.
The sources who spoke to FOS on condition of anonymity said White is determining whether that salary came from the NFL-approved loan, which likely had conditions attached as to how that money could be used.
A Washington Commanders spokesperson issued the following statement to FOS:
“The characterization of the White investigation is 100 percent false,”
EXCLUSIVE: The federal investigation of the Washington Commanders and owner Dan Snyder sources tell @FOS could include unreleased evidence scooped up by Congress, including allegations lawyers/investigators working for Snyder acted as imposters. https://t.co/cYoCD7HggU— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) March 17, 2023
Dan Snyder is also facing a federal criminal investigation that has already resulted in at least one subpoena being issued. The reports of Washington keeping two sets of books, and also allegedly keeping team revenues from ticket sales from other NFL owners came from a former employee during the Oversight Committees investigation. There were also allegations that the team was keeping refundable deposits from season ticket holders which led to several lawsuits and at least one settlement.
Perez reports that the federal criminal investigation is still ongoing and finding additional financial irregularities.
But the scope of the investigation has already gone beyond the evidence scooped up by Congress that was made public nearly a year ago. That includes issues over the $55 million line of credit taken out without the approval of the three former co-owners, as ESPN first reported.
Some of that could be linked to evidence that Congress did not release last year, including the use of attorneys and investigators acting as impostors to — potentially illegally — gather info from multiple people.
Dan Snyder is also being investigated for allegedly leaking confidential information about his case against his former minority owners:
Another potential target of the feds is what Snyder told a judge during a hearing as part of a lawsuit filed by the three former co-owners against Snyder. Lawyers for Schar, Smith, and Rothman alleged in a December 2020 filing that “Snyder or his agents have disclosed to The New York Times confidential information about discussions” in violation of the judge’s order that it remain under seal.
“No, your honor,” Snyder told the judge multiple times under oath when the Maryland federal judge asked if either he, his family, or anybody he’s associated with was the source of the story.
Judge Peter J. Messitte threatened sanctions to whoever violated his confidentiality order.
“I need to caution you about that because my ruling as to confidentiality applies across the board,” Messitte said per the transcript of the hearing obtained by FOS. “Wherever you are, whatever court you’re in — Mr. Snyder, this goes for you and plaintiffs, this goes for you. You’re subject to this court order.”
In a statement, a Commanders spokesperson said “the team has been fully cooperating” federal investigation” since it received a request for records last year.
“The requested records only relate to customer security deposits and the team’s ticket sales and revenue. The team will continue to cooperate with this investigation,” the Commanders said.
The Washington Commanders are expected to be sold, but the timeline still hasn’t been reported. Speculation about the sale being wrapped up by the time NFL owners get together for their annual owners meeting starting March 26th. One of the big hangups in the process could be Snyder’s demand that he receives indemnification from the other owners for any potential lawsuits and settlements involving the team after he sells. NFL owners are against that idea, and given the amount of legal scrutiny Snyder is facing, that is a very good business decision.