March 14, 2024 3 min read

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Jaguars’ Former Financial Exec Sentenced to $6.5 Years in Prison

The prison sentence comes after the executive embezzled some $22.2 million from his former employer and used the money to gamble and fund a lavish lifestyle

A former financial executive of the Jacksonville Jaguars, accused of embezzling some $22.2 million, was sentenced earlier this week. The case involves Jacksonville, Florida resident, Amit Patel, 31, who was employed by the famous NFL team between 2018 and 2023.

Investigation uncovered that the embezzlement scheme started in September 2019 and continued through February 2023 when Patel was fired by the Jaguars. The recent sentencing comes after on December 14, 2023, the former financial manager pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

In light of the wire fraud charge, Patel was now sentenced to six years and six months in federal prison by US District Judge Henry L. Adams. Besides the 6.5-year prison sentence, the former financial executive was ordered to pay full restitution of $22,221,454.40 to his former employer, the Jaguars.

Lani Rosado-Espinal, IRS-CI Acting Special Agent in Charge, revealed that the IRS played a key role in the uncovering of the fraudulent activity of the 31-year-old. The special agent explained that the former Jaguars employee abused the power he was entrusted with and used funds from his employer to fund a lavish lifestyle and gamble. “IRS-CI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to provide the financial expertise to unravel sophisticated fraud and money laundering schemes,” said Rosado-Espinal in conclusion.

Mark Dargis, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division, also commented on the topic, outlining that the latest case reaffirms the dedication of the FBI to protect American companies. Finally, Dargis outlined: “Amit Patel knowingly and wittingly created a deceptive scheme to fund a lavish lifestyle at his employer’s expense, and today’s sentencing is a warning to other scam artists: the FBI and our partners will continue to aggressively pursue corporate fraud investigations to protect consumers from bearing the costs associated with criminal activity.”

Stolen Money Was Used Not Only for Gambling, but Personal Expenditures

Overall, Patel has embezzled approximately $22.2 million. His defense attorney, Alex King, claimed that his client was pushed into the crime by his gambling addiction. King said that some 99% of the funds were used to cover massive gambling losses.

Those claims contradicted the prosecution’s stance. According to prosecutors, besides gambling, Patel used money obtained through fraudulent activity to fund a lavish lifestyle, including the purchase of a home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He also used money obtained from the Jaguars through fraud to buy a Nissan pickup truck, a new Tesla Model 3 sedan and traveling expenses including private jet flights and luxury accommodation.

Among other expenditures, Patel used embezzled funds to buy electronics, cryptocurrency, sports memorabilia, luxury wristwatches and home furnishings. The prosecution said that while he embezzled the money through hundreds of illegitimate transactions, Patel also attempted to cover his tracks by creating “accounting files that contained numerous false and fraudulent entries and emailed them to the Jaguar’s accounting department.” Besides his sentencing and forfeiture, the former financial executive was ordered to undergo gambling addiction treatment.

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Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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