DC United Owner Dodged Taxes, Its Ex-Lawyer Claims

  • Jason Levien is CEO of DC United and owns component of Swansea City and the Brisbane Bullets.
  • DC United’s former typical counsel manufactured a whistleblower complaint versus him in New York.
  • The state declined to intervene. Levien denied wrongdoing and claimed he submitted New York taxes.

Jason Levien, a co-proprietor of Washington DC’s $700 million Key League Soccer workforce and an trader in experienced athletics teams in the United kingdom and Australia, has been accused by his firm’s former best lawyer of dishonest on his taxes.

Levien lied to New York officials by proclaiming to are living in Florida for many years to avoid $2.5 million to $5.2 million in city and condition taxes, according to a a short while ago unsealed complaint obtained by Insider. The lawsuit was brought by Christopher Deubert, who until eventually previous year was the major attorney for Levien’s DC United soccer club.

The case, introduced under New York’s Phony Statements Act, was submitted last calendar year under seal. It was not too long ago unsealed just after the state attorney standard declined to intervene in the scenario. A whistleblower can preserve pursuing a situation even if the point out passes on it, nevertheless, and is entitled to a share of whichever is recovered.

“Levien, born and bred in Manhattan, has taken care of his principal residence in Manhattan for virtually all his daily life, until finally a short while ago moving to Washington, DC comprehensive-time,” the grievance states. It suggests he manufactured “an estimated $2 million to $4 million” a year.

The grievance also indicates that Deubert has submitted a very similar whistleblower scenario in Washington, DC. If a complaint was submitted there, it didn’t present up in a general public databases, and a spokesman for the DC Lawyer General’s business declined to remark.

In a assertion shared with Insider, Jon Bouker, a attorney for Levien, stated his shopper compensated all the taxes he owed and submitted taxes in New York, opposite to Deubert’s promises. He mentioned the regulation firm ArentFoxSchiff employed PwC to assessment Levien’s tax returns and “concluded that Mr. Levien does not owe taxes in New York, or in any jurisdiction, returns have been filed on Mr. Levien’s behalf for tax overpayments, and Mr. Levien has correctly submitted tax returns in New York all through decades at problem.”

“Regardless of whether [Deubert’s] accusations ended up an truthful error or a little something additional destructive is a little something we will refrain from commenting on right up until we have additional data,” Bouker said. “Irrespective, it is unfortunate.” 

A particular person close to Levien told Insider that Levien is presently a DC resident for tax needs and that he has thoroughly compensated taxes in the a number of states he has lived in for the previous two a long time. 

Deubert alleges that there is “appreciable proof,” which include general public data and media interviews, that exhibits Levien has hardly ever lived in Florida, and claims that Levien and his accountant instructed Deubert that “Levien works by using his parents’ residence,” a Boca Raton condo, “for tax functions.”

Levien, a former NBA agent who received into management roles in the late 2000s, has been developing his sporting activities portfolio above the earlier ten years. In 2016, he acquired into Swansea City, a Welsh club which was relegated from the Leading League in 2018 and presently plays in the 2nd-tier Championship.

In 2021, the BBC documented he was the team’s the greater part owner and claimed to have invested “tens of tens of millions” into the group even as it has hemorrhaged funds through the pandemic.

He also hasn’t remaining basketball driving. In 2019, he and former NBA capturing guard Kevin Martin led a consortium that acquired a 75{c024931d10daf6b71b41321fa9ba9cd89123fb34a4039ac9f079a256e3c1e6e8} stake of the Brisbane Bullets, element of Australia’s Countrywide Basketball League.

When he bought into DC United in 2012, Forbes noted that the group was valued at $50 million. That benefit has soared: Sportico reported in September that DC United is worthy of $700 million, producing it the sixth most important MLS workforce.

Levien and Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir jointly owned 60{c024931d10daf6b71b41321fa9ba9cd89123fb34a4039ac9f079a256e3c1e6e8} of the staff when they 1st bought a stake, in accordance to Forbes. Thohir was acquired out in 2018.

Levien also has investments outdoors of sports activities. His firm Neksepo Ventures shown holdings together with Masterclass and Immortals Gaming Club, an esports venture. And a 2019 story in the Washington Company Journal about him providing a apartment he used as a visitor home for consumers and friends for $2.85 million claimed he has other homes in the District.

Deubert declined to comment, as did his lawyer, Adam Pollock.

December 14, 2022: This tale has been up to date to incorporate responses from Levien’s lawyer and a person shut to Levien.