A California man wanted in several states for financial fraud swindled the Minnesota Vikings, writing bad checks to rent luxury suites for two games last fall at U.S. Bank Stadium, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Daniel Escamilla, 39, was charged with three counts of theft by swindle and one count of theft by false representation. A warrant is out for his arrest, although his whereabouts are unknown, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said in a statement.
According to the complaint, Escamilla leased a luxury suite for the Sept. 9 game against the San Francisco 49ers, paying for it with a $37,000 personal check. He attended the game.
The Vikings contacted him on Sept. 13 saying the check bounced. He apologized and said he would send a new check immediately and that he also wanted to rent the suite for the Sept. 23 game against the Buffalo Bills and several other games, charging documents said.
On Sept. 17, Escamilla sent checks of $35,000 and $190,000 from a different bank account.
"The Vikings did not cash the checks because the bank informed them that those checks, too, were from a closed account," the county attorney's office said. "Team employees did an internet search on Sept. 19 and discovered that Escamilla had been accused of a similar offense in another state. ... The team lost the $35,000 for lack of payment for the Buffalo game."
A Minneapolis police investigation found the accounts Escamilla used were opened using false Social Security numbers and were closed in May 2018 and July 2018 because Escamilla repeatedly wrote bad checks, according to the complaint.
Escamilla also allegedly signed a lease at the Nic on Fifth luxury apartment complex where he hosted a party prior to the 49ers game but did not provide a security deposit or pay any rent. Prosecutors said he was evicted Sept. 26 and left the premises.
It's not clear where Escamilla's NFL allegiances lie, but the Vikings did beat the San Francisco man's hometown team the day he sat in the luxury suite, 24-16.
The Vikings declined comment on the matter, saying it is an open criminal case.