Mon. Mar 4th, 2024


Indian-American Amit Patel has been accused of stealing more than $22 million from the National Football League team to fund his luxury lifestyle.

Patel, a former manager of Jacksonville Jaguars executive, processed fraudulent credit card transactions from September 2019 until he was fired in February. He’s charged with wire fraud and engaging in an illegal financial transaction.

Patel’s lawyer, Alex King, said an out-of-control addiction to online sports betting was the main motive for the embezzlement.

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The lawyer said Patel used 99% of the Jaguars’ funds were used for betting on the FanDuel and DraftKings sites.

The football team said that Patel took advantage of his job to “covertly and intentionally commit significant fraudulent financial activity at the team’s expense for personal benefit”.

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King said Patel has cooperated with the Jaguars, the FBI, and federal prosecutors and is in treatment for gambling addiction.

‘The big fraud’

According to the Prosecutors, Patel oversaw the team’s virtual credit card program, which allowed some employees to charge business expenses without a physical credit card. Each month it was Patel’s job to create a file accounting for the charges from the past month. He did so with fraudulent entries, inventing phony transactions, moving up legitimate charges from future months, and inflating some charges, including for catering, airfare, and hotels.

Patel spent the millions he stole from the team on internet gambling, a condominium near Florida’s Ponte Vedra Beach, and private jet travel and luxury accommodation for himself and friends.

He bought a new Tesla Model 3 sedan and a Nissan pickup truck, cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens, sports memorabilia, a country club membership, tickets to sporting events, and high-end watches, including the Patek Philippe, prosecutors said.

Patel also allegedly used stolen money to hire a personal trainer and a criminal defense lawyer.

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Published: 08 Dec 2023, 11:15 AM IST



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