JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Diya TV) – A former financial manager of Jacksonville Jaguars exploited team funds for a lavish lifestyle and gambling spree, embezzling over $22M from 2019 to 2023.
Court documents expose Amit Patel, a former executive of Jacksonville Jaguars, for allegedly pilfering $22 million from the team’s finances. Patel, who served as the manager of financial planning and analysis from 2018 to 2023, reportedly manipulated the team’s Virtual Credit Card (VCC) to fund extravagant purchases and engage in extensive online gambling.
The court filings in the US District Court in Jacksonville, Florida, detail Patel’s method of hiding fraudulent transactions by categorizing them as “recurring VCC transactions,” including catering, airfare, and hotel fees. Patel inflated legitimate transactions and inserted entirely fictitious ones, creating a complex web of financial deceit.
Patel’s misuse of funds extended to a range of activities, including online bets, cryptocurrency investments, luxury watch acquisitions, spa treatments, chartered flights, and the purchase of a Tesla Model 3 and a Nissan pick-up truck. The embezzled money was also used to buy a condominium in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
The team, referred to as “Business A” in court documents, confirmed that it was the victim of Patel’s alleged crimes. The New York Post reported that Patel’s actions had no connection to football operations or insider information about the game.
In response to the accusations, Patel’s attorney, Alex King, attributed the embezzlement to a gambling addiction. King stated that Patel used the team’s VCC program to gamble on Daily Fantasy Sports platforms like FanDuel and DraftKings, with approximately 99% of the misappropriated funds linked to gambling losses. King emphasized Patel’s remorse, noting his termination from the Jaguars in February 2023.
The National Football League (NFL) asserted that Patel’s actions did not compromise the integrity of the game, with a review finding no evidence of inside information misuse. However, concerns linger about the potential for a broader scandal, given Patel’s significant financial misconduct.
As the legal proceedings unfold, Patel faces charges of wire fraud and illegal monetary transactions. The court documents indicate that he may be required to forfeit property valued at least $22,221,454.40, representing the proceeds of the alleged offenses, in addition to assets funded by the embezzled money.