The Washington Commanders settled a lawsuit with Maryland’s Attorney General over the withholding of deposits that season ticket holders were owed. The team will return the deposits to consumers who have not yet received them back as required, and also pay a $250,000 settlement.

Maryland AG Brian E. Frosh stated that the team has 30 days to return fans’ deposits as part of the arrangement, pointing out the team violating the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

He highlighted the Commanders kept money that was not theirs for many years, and that it belonged to their customers. “Today’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,” Frosh concluded.sea

The “many years” in Frosh’s statement above sometimes corresponds to “a decade”, according to the lawsuit. The office of the Attorney General alleges that since 1996, deposits that should have been returned to season ticket members at the expiration of their contract have instead been held on to by the team, sometimes for as long as a decade. Even when consumers demanded their money be returned, the organization allegedly “intentionally complicated” the return process by imposing additional conditions that were not in the original contracts.

The NFL team plays its home games at FedExField in Landover, Maryland while its headquarters and training facility are in Ashburn, Virginia. Founded under a different name in the 30s and changing its name several times until rebranding as the Commanders in 2022, the team is subject to laws in the District because it marks to D.C. residents, who are paying customers as fans, as Attorney Racine puts it.

Washington’s settlement in Maryland came shortly on the heels of a similar lawsuit being filed by Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine for implementing an illegal scheme to cheat District ticket holders out of their deposits for season tickets. Before suing the team for cheat season-ticket holders out of money, Racine’s office also filed a complaint against the team, owner Dan Snyder, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell for colluding to deceive residents about an investigation into a toxic work environment and sexual assault allegations.

According to the Associated Press, a spokesperson from the team commented that the team did a review of deposits in 2014 and has since conducted an audit of finances and found no evidence of intentionally withholding ticket money or converted unclaimed funds into revenue.