The State Attorney General’s Office today formally dropped all charges against former Seattle Seahawk, Sam Adams, who was accused in Feb. 2015 of several counts of wage theft in his ownership of six athletic clubs in Oregon and Washington, including one in Tacoma.
[Update] At the same time, Hollystone Holdings Inc., which was the company that owned Tacoma’s Lincoln Plaza Athletic Club Inc. and two others in West Seattle, entered a corporate Alford Plea to one count of criminal wage theft. It agreed to pay restitution to all former employees who were did not receive their back wages, according to an AG news release. The parties agreed that the maximum penalty is a $10,000 fine.
An extensive investigation and forensic audits proved Adams was a victim of financial fraud perpetrated by the billing company he had hired to provide services for his businesses, which he jointly owned with his brother and wife, according to Garvey Schubert Barer, the law firm representing Adams.
Since being accused of several counts of wage theft, as well as filing false/fraudulent tax returns, Adams has maintained his innocence, which today’s dismissal affirms.
“Today’s dismissal reflects the truth: Sam’s fitness clubs failed because they were being systematically cheated by their billing company,” said Adams’ attorney David Smith.
“No one on the government side took the steps needed to conduct a forensic audit, thus the obvious fraud by the billing company was not detected by government investigators,” Smith continued. “If the basic requirements of criminal investigation had been followed, Sam and his former business associate would never have been charged.”
Adams added, “As we have always known, none of the charges were true and we appreciated the AG’s office apologizing to me today in court. Erika and I are grateful to live in a country where the rule of law reigns and justice is ultimately served.”