A former employee of the Jacksonville Jaguars is accused of stealing $22 million from the team to fund a lavish lifestyle that included a very serious gambling problem. Amit Patel, the team’s former manager of financial planning and analysis is facing fraud charges for his use of the team’s virtual credit card to pay for everything from daily fantasy sports wagers to cryptocurrency; until authorities recently caught on to his activities earlier this year.
Patel had been with Jaguars since 2019, but was let go from his position in February of this year when team officials caught on to his activities. The former team official would allegedly hide his extracurricular expenses by inflating the cost of legitimate expenses. How he managed to cover so many expenses, including the purchase of a luxury condominium, without drawing attention sooner remains to be seen.
According to a report from Action News JAX, the team is taking a low-profile approach to the alleged embezzlement. The station did talk to a team official who acknowledged the situation saying, “As was made clear in the charges, this individual was a former manager of financial planning and analysis who took advantage of his trusted position to covertly and intentionally commit significant fraudulent financial activity at the team’s expense for personal benefit.”
Patel’s attorney says the errant exec spent 99 percent of the purloined cash on on gambling. In a press release he explained the situation saying, “Mr. Patel suffers from a serious gambling addiction, and in the spring of this year, checked himself into extensive, inpatient rehabilitation to address his addiction. Mr. Patel’s serious gambling addiction does nto excuse his actions, which he takes full responsibility for.”
If convicted, Patel could face 20 years behind bars.