Gridiron Fantasy Sports absconds with funds

December 14, 2011

Gridiron Fantasy Sports fails to pay fantasy league winners

If you are one of the lucky few to win your fantasy football league, there is nothing like receiving prize money at the end of the season. Unfortunately, if you played in any of the Gridiron Fantasy Sports high-stakes fantasy leagues (“Gridiron,” d/b/a World Championship of Fantasy Football, d/b/a World Championship of Fantasy Baseball) winners were not necessarily paid. As of today, Gridiron failed to pay out more than $151,261 in prize money.

For players who won their 2010 leagues, they were promised to be paid by February 15, 2011. The company also promised cash prizes to up to 331 participants based on team performance. The total case prize pool was $389,500. When the February 15th date passed, a number of players were still not paid despite being informed by Gridiron of their allocated winnings. When payment was continuously delayed, players inquired within. To dodge the issue, Gridiron issued generic emails to winners filled with excuses to include the “check is in the mail.” However, those checks never came. Rather, Gridiron allegedly stole the money to line company pockets and to pay-off outstanding debts.

Gridiron’s business model was quite simple and very lucrative. Players would purchase teams ranging from $300 to $1,950. Top prizes included $300,000 in cash and a trip for two to Dallas during Super Bowl XLV and $50,000 plus entries into the 2011 Main Event (which includes three nights stay and airfare to Las Vegas).

At the time of this incident, Gridiron was owned by Dustin Ashby who currently resides in O’Fallon, Missouri. When Missouri’s Attorney General got wind of Gridiron’s deceitful business practice, the state filed suit against Gridiron and Ashby.

The civil suit was filed on December 8, 2011, in the Twenty-First Judicial Circuit, Missouri, seeking inter alia restitution and civil penalties for violating Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act.

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