April 14th, 2010

AFFL Taken to Court Over Payouts

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The American Fantasy Football League has not been in good shape for several years now, and the contest’s failure to pay finally led to court action on Tuesday.

Jeff Gill, winner of the AFFL’s 2009 Gold-level championship, filed suit in Cook County court in Illinois on Tuesday in search of $69,000 in monetary damages (past-due winnings) and punitive damages of “at least” three times that ($207,000 in the complaint).

“Enough is enough !!!!” Gill apparently posted Wednesday morning in the AFFL forums, using the handle “Jeff5347.”

That sentiment likely refers to the payout issues that have dogged the AFFL for several years now. In 2007, the contest reportedly failed to deliver prizes to any of its winners, an episode that at least helped to lead to a change in ownership.

According to a thread from the forums on myffpc.com, current owners Wade Golab and Bob Smolarczyk took over before the 2008 season, paid 2007 winners in credits that could be put toward further AFFL entries and reportedly paid out all prizes to 2008 winners. Some payments have been made on 2009 winnings — including the aforementioned $5,900 to Gill — but the complaint accuses Golab and Smolarczyk of saying other funds necessary for completing payouts aren’t on hand.

Specifically, the suit alleges (in unyielding terms):

The Defendants, however, have failed and refused to pay Jeff Gill. In fact, they admit they cannot pay Jeff Gill his $69,000.00 and other awards. The truth is that the Defendants never had sufficient funds to pay cash prizes and awards to the Grand Prize winner, and to several other winners. Despite this fact, the Defendants falsely promised to the participant consumers that payment was “guaranteed,” deceptively accepted the consumers’ entry fees, and deceitfully failed to tell the unsuspecting participants before or during the contests that the Grand Prize was, in essence, a “fantasy” of their own fraudulent making.

The AFFL launched in 2004. FSB.com left voicemail messages for Golab and Smolarczyk and will update with any further information we encounter.