Recent revelations have brought to light a concerning situation involving a former Jacksonville Jaguars employee, Amit Patel, who stands accused of embezzling more than $22 million from the organization. Patel, charged with wire fraud and illegal monetary transactions, served with the franchise from 2019 to 2023.
The Allegations and Defense
Initial reports indicated that Patel allegedly used his position to misappropriate funds from the Jaguars’ virtual credit card program (VCC). He is accused of exaggerating or fabricating transactions as legitimate business expenses. However, in a surprising turn of events, Patel’s lawyer, Alex King, released a statement claiming that Patel lost a significant portion of the stolen funds due to a gambling addiction.
“Almost the entirety of the funds Mr. Patel used from the VCC were spent on the gambling websites and efforts to win money back, with the anticipation he would repay the funds with the winnings and make the Jaguars whole.”
King stated in a release according to The Athletic.
King asserted that Patel had lost approximately 99 percent of the embezzled money in gambling and daily fantasy, attempting to offset his losses by using the stolen funds with the intention of repaying the organization.
Release from Amit Patel's attorney. Patel is the former Jaguars' employee who allegedly stole $22 million from the team. pic.twitter.com/vIu69wkivQ
— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzNYC) December 7, 2023
Complications and Ongoing Investigations
Amit Patel was terminated by the Jaguars in February following allegations of wire fraud. Unfortunately, his gambling habits exacerbated the situation, leading to continued misappropriation of funds in an attempt to recoup significant losses.
“Mr. Patel’s compulsive gambling only exacerbated the situation, and he continued to misappropriate funds in an effort to have gambling winnings offset his significant losses.”
King explained in a statement.
The lawyer’s statement revealed that Patel’s financial troubles intensified during the final months, prompting an investigation by the league. The organization clarified that Patel worked alone and did not involve any other employees in his scheme.
Disputed Allegations of a Lavish Lifestyle
Earlier reports suggested that Patel used the embezzled money for a lavish lifestyle, including purchases like a condominium, a Tesla Model 3 sedan, and a Nissan pickup truck. Additionally, he allegedly invested in cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens.
Wild story out of Jacksonville: A former #Jaguars employee, Amit Patel, is alleged to have stolen over $𝟮𝟮 𝗠𝗜𝗟𝗟𝗜𝗢𝗡 from the team over the past 5 years by exploiting the organization's virtual credit card program, via @TheAthletic
He used the stolen money to buy two… pic.twitter.com/oOG29QqCfE
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) December 7, 2023
However, Patel’s lawyer disputes these claims, stating that the misappropriation was an ill-conceived attempt to repay gambling losses rather than fund a luxurious lifestyle.
Despite the legal complexities, Amit Patel is reportedly fully cooperating with investigations conducted by the Jaguars, the NFL, and the FBI. Furthermore, he has taken proactive steps by checking himself into a rehabilitation center to address his gambling addiction.