After claiming football player Sam Adams had stiffed gym employees out of wages and failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, officials in the Washington State Attorney General's Office have reached a plea deal with the former Seahawk.
The allegations stemmed from two gyms owned by Adams and a business associate, Dana Sargent: the West Seattle Athletic Club and the Lincoln Plaza Athletic Club in Tacoma. The AG's office charged Adams and Sargent with more than a dozen counts of theft and four counts of filing a false tax return. The office said Adams and Sargent had failed to pay about $7,000 in wages to workers, $42,000 in insurance premiums to a healthcare company, $35,000 in state unemployment insurance, and $446,000 in sales taxes to the state. (Both of the gyms were closed when the charges were filed. The West Seattle Athletic Club has reopened with a new owner.)
Now, the charges have been dropped and the total Adams will pay will be much lower than those figures.
A holding company owned by Adams, Hollystone Holdings, pleaded guilty to one felony aggregate count of Theft in the First Degree, according to the deal finalized this week. That will carry a maximum $10,000 fine, according to the agreement. Workers will get back pay, though the AG's office does not yet know how much. In exchange, the state will dismiss the charges. (The state can re-file charges if workers don't receive that back pay.)
The case was the second ever criminal wage theft prosecution brought by the office. In a press release at the time, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he would "prosecute unscrupulous businesses that steal money out of the pockets of wage earners and taxpayers."
In a statement and interview with KIRO yesterday, Adams said he was the "victim of financial fraud perpetrated by the billing company he had hired." A spokesperson for the AG's office, Brionna Aho, would not comment on that claim or whether the office is investigating another company for fraud related to this case. Adams told KIRO he was "wrongfully accused." Asked to respond, Aho said, "Dismissing criminal charges is not the same as saying he was innocent."