Ex-Jags Employee Ordered to Repay More Than $21M

Amit Patel sentenced to 6.5 years for stealing from virtual credit card system
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2023 7:27 AM CST
Updated Mar 12, 2024 5:35 PM CDT
Ex-Financial Manager for NFL Team Accused of Stealing $22M
The Jacksonville Jaguars logo is seen on a goal post wrap during an NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London on Oct. 1.   (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
UPDATE Mar 12, 2024 5:35 PM CDT

Former Jacksonville Jaguars employee Amit Patel has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $22 million from the team. Patel, who could have faced up to 30 years, was also ordered to repay more than $21 million, CNN reports. Prosecutors said Patel, sole administrator for the team's virtual credit card system, stole from the system from 2019 until he was fired in February last year. Attorney Alex King said Patel has a "serious gambling addiction" and is "deeply remorseful."

Dec 7, 2023 7:27 AM CST

A Jacksonville Jaguars employee was fired in February, and more details are now emerging as to why. Citing documents filed by prosecutors Tuesday in US District Court in Jacksonville, Florida, the AP reports that former financial manager Amit Patel has been hit with charges of wire fraud and illegal monetary transaction, accusing of lifting more than $22 million from the team over a four-year stretch. According to the seven-page court filing, Patel used the franchise's virtual credit-card program between 2019 and 2023 to rack up purchases of various big-ticket items, including a Tesla and Nissan pickup truck, a condo worth at least $265,000 in Ponte Vedra Beach, a country club membership, as well as spa treatments, sports memorabilia, and concert tickets, per the AP and USA Today.

Patel is also accused of chartering private jets for himself and his friends. The illegal monetary transaction charge is tied to a $95,000 watch Patel allegedly purchased online last fall, per USA Today. The Athletic, which first reported the charges against Patel, notes it's not clear what he allegedly bet on on the online gambling sites, and when "asked if the team wished to comment on that allegation, a Jaguars spokesperson declined."

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In his role overseeing the NFL team's departmental budgets, financial statements, and virtual credit-card program, Patel, who began working for the Jaguars in 2018, was able to duplicate, inflate, and even fabricate catering, hotel, and airfare expenses, among others, according to the court filings. "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," the Jaguars say in a statement. A court date for Patel hasn't yet been set. (More Jacksonville Jaguars stories.)

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