Court Dismisses “Meritless” Privately-Brought Tax Case Against Sports Team Owner Jason Levien

Court Dismisses "Meritless" Privately-Brought Tax Case Against Sports Team Owner Jason Levien

The D.C. Superior Court dismissed the privately-brought tax case against D.C. United owner Jason Levien. The case was brought by a former D.C. United employee, Christopher Deubert, now Senior Counsel in the Labor Relations practice at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, who represented himself in the matter. The Court sided with the D.C. Attorney General (“OAG”) who investigated Deubert’s accusations, found them “meritless,” and concluded that Mr. Levien owed no taxes. A link to the decision can be found here.

Deubert filed a D.C. False Claims Act (“FCA”) case against the owner of his former employer after he and D.C. United parted ways in 2021. The FCA allows anyone to file lawsuits against private citizens for failing to pay their D.C. taxes. The individual who filed the lawsuit can receive up to thirty percent of the recovery if the suit is successful.

After a thorough investigation by the OAG, finding the accusations “meritless,” and an audit by the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue, the District intervened and moved to dismiss Deubert’s claims. After the District concluded that Mr. Levien owed no taxes, Deubert denigrated the OAG, calling the investigation “lackadaisical and inadequate,” and declaring that the OAG “does not seem to know the very laws it is entrusted to enforce.”

In a filing weeks later, Deubert apologized to the OAG, while also admitting his ignorance of tax law: “After additional research, Deubert now has a different understanding of the relevant law and apologizes to the Office of Attorney General (‘OAG’) accordingly.”

“This case wasted more than two years of the District Government’s time,” said CEO and Co-Chairman of D.C. United, Jason Levien. “Unfortunately, a former employee who has never seen my taxes manufactured these accusations, for his own personal monetary gain, only after he and D.C. United parted ways in 2021. After the Attorney General’s Office found his accusations meritless, the former employee then disparaged the Attorney General’s Office. His allegations were offensive, as I have a long-standing track record of commitment to the Washington D.C. community and care deeply about my reputation, relationships, and contributions in the District. I am grateful for today’s court ruling dismissing this matter, and I know the District is as well.”