States have paid millions of dollars to a nonprofit that supposedly holds the rights to the name "World Trade Center," and now New York's leading prosecutor wants to know why.
An official with the New York Attorney General's office has sent out letters to 28 states that have paid the nonprofit $10 per use of the name, seeking further information, The Associated Press reported. The name was sold in 1986, in a deal involving the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with a group called The World Trade Centers Association.
One result of the deal: The Port Authority actually owns the World Trade Center property, but must pay $10, too, in order to use the "World Trade Center" name, AP reported.
"The attorney general is looking to find out how the WTCA got such a sweetheart deal on the naming rights, how much revenue the WTCA makes selling the name and how that price is set," the unnamed official told AP.
Another media outlet reported that the two port authorities actually sold the rights to the nonprofit head, Guy Tozzoli, who died in February.
The letter from the attorney general's office requested that the entities give a response by Oct. 25.
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