A San Francisco man has been charged with twice swindling the Vikings out of a $35,000 luxury suite at U.S. Bank Stadium for games last September.
According to a Hennepin County District Court criminal complaint, Daniel Garcia Escamilla III is charged with three counts of theft by swindle and one count of theft by false representation.
He was not in custody Wednesday, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The Vikings declined to comment.
Escamilla signed a contract to rent a suite and wrote a $37,000 personal check to the Vikings on Sept. 5 for the team’s Sept. 9 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Four days after he attended the game, the Vikings told him that his check bounced because the account had been closed. When someone rents a suite at U.S. Bank, typically they sign a contract with the Vikings and pay with a check on the spot or in installments.
Escamilla apologized to the Vikings for the first bad check, according to the complaint, and promised to send the money right away. He then expressed interest in renting the same suite for the Buffalo Bills game on Sept. 23, as well as other games.
On Sept. 17, he sent two checks to the Vikings — one for $35,000 and another for $190,000 to secure a cabin suite for more games. But the Vikings didn’t try to cash either check, the complaint said, after learning they were written on a closed account.
Escamilla didn’t go to the Bills game, but the Vikings lost $35,000 anyway because the suite sat empty after he had purportedly reserved it.
In October, the Vikings mailed him a demand for payment but it was returned with no forwarding address.
Minneapolis police found that both checking accounts had been opened using fake Social Security numbers and were closed due to the defendant’s writing checks without funds in the account.
The Vikings found out via the internet that Escamilla had a history of fraud convictions in other states.