Brian Davis said in a radio interview last month that it was “ridiculous” to suggest he could file a lawsuit if he wasn’t able to purchase the Washington Commanders.
“That doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Turns out, he changed his mind.
Urban Echo Energy LLC — a company owned by Davis — filed a lawsuit last week against Bank of America that seeks $500 billion in damages over what it says was a failure to communicate a $7.1 billion offer to buy the Commanders from owner Dan Snyder. Then on Monday, the company filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order that calls for the investment bank to immediately return $5.1 billion that it says was transferred to Bank of America, which Urban Echo says failed to deposit the money into its account.
In the six-page complaint filed in a federal Maryland court, attorney Jeffrey T. Martin wrote that Bank of America “never made the Snyders aware of the existence of the bank drafts” that were worth $5.1 billion. The complaint includes images of two apparent copies of the bank drafts.
“For reasons unbeknownst to me, BOA refused to deposit the Bank Drafts into Urban Eacho’s accounts,” Davis said in a verified statement submitted to the court. “Instead I was notified on March 15, 2023 that BOA was unilaterally terminating Urban Echo’s accounts.
“Upon information and belief, Urban Echo’s accounts remain open and are available to receive credit for the Bank Drafts,” Davis added. “Despite the repeated demand, BOA failed to deposit the Bank Drafts into Urban Echo’s account.”
Davis said that on March 21, he submitted a $7.1 billion offer to buy the Commanders — adding that Bank of America “acknowledged Urban Echo’s offer was the highest and best offer to purchase the Commanders.” Weeks later, Snyder accepted a tentative agreement to sell the team to billionaire Josh Harris for $6.05 billion. The Snyder-Harris deal was then signed March 12, giving Harris an exclusive agreement to purchase the team.
A former Duke basketball player, Davis went on a publicity tour in April and touted that he was a realistic candidate to buy the Commanders, who said in November that the Snyders had hired Bank of America to explore a sale of the franchise. In interviews with WUSA 9 and 106.7 The Fan, the Maryland native said he wanted to buy the team to help his community.
But the source of Davis’ funding became a major question, as did his past given that he was sued for owing money to athletes, vendors and loaners. In his radio interview, Davis said his Commanders bid was backed by “people who are Jewish, who are Italian and who are Sicilian — White people.” Davis said that Urban Echo Energy was a “LEED certified developer of renewable energy assets” — only for a spokesperson for the U.S. Green Building Council to deny that Davis had projects that were LEED certified.
WUSA9 also reported that on March 27, Davis was sued for failing to repay $322,000 in loans to a District-area man. Maryam Mahdavi said in a complaint that Davis failed to repay him on loans of $230,000 and $92,000.
In Davis’ company’s lawsuit against Bank of America, Martin wrote that the investment bank “unjustly” detained the $5.1 billion deposited and added Urban Echo has suffered damages as a result of the “wrongful detention.”
“Upon information and belief, the Snyders would have accepted the UE Offer had they been aware of the $5,100,000,000.00 that was being held in limbo by BOA,” Martin wrote.
Even if Snyder had accepted the offer, there’s no guarantee that Davis’ deal would have been approved. The NFL undergoes vetting of all potential buyers and reviews all details of the transaction — which the league has begun doing with Harris’ deal. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday that he thinks Harris’ deal will get to a “place where it’ll be approved.”
According to court records, the judge assigned to the case is to respond to Davis’ request for a temporary restraining order by June 5.
“In order to avoid irreparable harm to Plaintiff, both financially and reputationally, BOA must be enjoined and directed to return what is undisputedly Plaintiff’s property,” the restraining order reads.
Bank of America declined to comment.
Davis’ attorney told Front Office Sports that Davis has no plans “at this time” to file any other lawsuits related to the Commanders’ sale.
• Matthew Paras can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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