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Fiona Simmons December 8, 2023 2 min read
Ex-Jaguars Employee Who Allegedly Stole $22M Suffers from Gambling Addiction
Amit Patel is in hot water with his former team and federal investigators over his alleged theft of $22 million from the team’s virtual credit card (VCC) program
The news was originally shared by ESPN which detailed the former Jacksonville Jaguars’ employee’s alleged criminal behavior. Patel is facing federal fraud charges, and he is also a struggling gambling addict, his lawyer attested.
Gambling Addiction Pushes Alleged Fraudster to Desperate Lengths
The alleged theft, though, is significant, and gambling addicts usually do not receive lighter sentences or reprieve because of their condition. According to federal investigators, Patel began his scheme back in September 2019 and ran it through February.
Attorney Alex King said that his client had used the funds to fuel his addiction, spending them on Daily Fantasy Sports through FanDuel and DraftKings. A total of 99% of the misappropriated funds were spent this way.
The losses continued to grow in the months before the NFL’s investigation, King explained, with his client now enrolled in a gambling addiction program.
However, the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida also claims that Patel spent the funds on other goods and services, including covering travel expenses, hiring private jets, staying at luxury hotels, and even the purchase of a condominium in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
The money was also spent on sports cars, sporting events, cryptocurrencies, luxury wristwatches, and more, the Attorney’s Office alleged. King insisted, though, that this was not the case, and that Patel did not spend any money to maintain an exorbitant lifestyle, but rather to cover gambling losses that his condition pushed him into.
On the flip side, Patel had only seemed to have been involved in DFS and had not compromised the integrity of his team or the NFL, which may play an alleviating factor in his final sentencing if found guilty.
Regretting His Conduct, Court Appearance Is Due
“Patel loved working for the Jacksonville Jaguars and regrets his actions which have resulted in him both losing his dream job and damaging the organization. Mr Patel remains in treatment and intends to seek ongoing treatment for the foreseeable future,” King’s statement wrapped up.
Patel will have a hearing in Jacksonville on December 14. His scheme involved replicating electronic invoices to hide the expenses and purchases he made from the VCC program. He was originally one of the employees with access to the program. Patel was fired from the Jaguars when the allegations and investigation came to light.