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Ex-Jaguars employee gets 6.5-year sentence for $22 million theft

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A former Jacksonville Jaguars employee who stole over $22 million to fuel his gambling addiction and lavish lifestyle was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison on Tuesday.

Key points

  • Amit Patel, 31, admitted to stealing $22,221,454 while overseeing the team's virtual credit card program over four years.

  • Patel was fired by the Jaguars NFL team in February 2023 after the team discovered the fraud.

  • Patel, who used the funds for gambling, luxury items and private travel, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and illegal monetary transactions.

The details

  • As the sole designated virtual credit card system administrator for the Jaguars, Patel created fake transactions and falsified records to mask his thefts from September 2019 to February 2023.

  • He expressed contrition in court and admitted guilt to the felony charges, attributing his actions to a spiraling gambling addiction. He said he was "embarrassed, ashamed and disappointed" by his actions.

  • Funneling millions from the Jaguars' finances, he made extravagant expenditures, including lavish hotel stays, private jet charters, a new Tesla, cryptocurrency, a $95,000 Patek Philippe watch, a Nissan pickup truck, a property in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and even the purchase of Tiger Woods' prized 1996 putter.

  • Lawyer Alex King, who represented Patel in the case, said his client was “deeply remorseful and apologizes for his conduct,” noting that he suffers from a “serious gambling addiction.”

  • Megha Parekh, senior vice president of the Jaguars, said Patel betrayed their trust and caused the team heartbreak. The team asked FanDuel to reimburse them for the millions Patel lost gambling on the site, but the company refused.

What's next

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  • Patel has been ordered to pay $21.1 million in restitution to the Jaguars, though the team is unlikely to recover all the stolen funds.

 

 

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