NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, left, and Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos in 2016 in San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

Dean Spanos, co-owner of the Los Angeles Chargers, is mired in a family dispute that has prompted another court battle.

Dimitri and Lex Economou, Spanos’ nephews, sued him this week in San Joaquin County, according to the Los Angeles Times. They accuse him of improperly re-directing money from the family trust that controls 36% of the team.

The plaintiffs are the sons of a Spanos sister, Dea Spanos Berberian.

According to the report, the suit alleges that Spanos, supported by his brother, Michael, who also holds an executive position with the Chargers, changed the trust four years ago. The move resulted in money shifting from the trust “to themselves personally.”

The Economou brothers, the L.A. Times reported, want the money returned, along with damages.

An attorney for Spanos, the report noted, issued a statement in which he labeled the claims “meritless.” 

Dean and Michael Spanos and another sibling, Alexis Spanos Ruhl, have engaged in a public quarrel with Berberian.

She filed papers in Los Angeles Superior Court in April contending that the family’s trust is riddled with so much debt that a sale of the NFL franchise is the only way to resolve the issue.

Berberian contends the trust has debts and expenses exceeding $353 million, with no plan for how it will pay $22 million it has pledged to charities. The 2021 court filing alleges “the Spanos family legacy” is in danger of suffering “irreparable financial and reputational damage.”

According to, the team’s worth in the spring 2021 was $2.6 billion. The Chargers left San Diego at the end of the 2016 season after more than 50 years in the region.

– Staff and wire reports