Most of of stolen $22M went to gambling


The lawyer for the former Jaguars employee accused of stealing $22 million from the team claims that “99 percent” of it went towards chasing gambling losses.

Earlier this week, The Athletic reported that Amit Patel, who worked in the Jaguars’ finance department, was charged with wire fraud and illegal monetary transaction after he was accused of pilfering $22 million from the team in a stretch ranging from 2019 until earlier this year to fund a lavish lifestyle.

In a statement Thursday, Patel’s attorney, Alex King, said that “approximately 99 percent” of the money Patel allegedly stole funded losses in gambling and daily fantasy.

Patel is accused of skimming funds from the Jaguars’ virtual credit card program (VCC), of which he had oversight, either by overstating or outright fabricating transactions that were supposed to have been legitimate business expenses.

“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’s statement said, according to The Athletic.

“Unfortunately, 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.”

The attorney for Amit Patel, the former Jaguars employee accused of stealing $22 million from the team, claimed that 'approximately 99 percent' of the money went towards chasing gambling losses.
The attorney for Amit Patel, the former Jaguars employee accused of stealing $22 million from the team, claimed that “approximately 99 percent” of the money went toward chasing gambling losses. Getty Images

The statement added that the losses “were most significant in the final months leading up to the NFL’s investigation.”

King also said his client was fired by the Jaguars this past February when the NFL informed the team that it had been investigating Patel’s gambling activities.

A court filing earlier this week from the U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Fla. accused Patel of using the ill-gotten funds for myriad personal expenditures, such as to “place bets with online gambling websites; to purchase a condominium in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; to pay for personal travel for himself and friends (including chartering private jets and booking luxury hotels and private rental residences); to acquire a new Tesla Model 3 sedan and Nissan pickup truck; to lodge a retainer with a criminal defense law firm; and to purchase cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens, electronics, sports memorabilia, a country club membership, spa treatments, concerts and sporting event tickets, home furnishings and luxury wrist watches.”

a general view of the stadium before a game featuring the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Stadium.
Patel had oversight over the team’s virtual credit card program. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

King, the attorney, disputed these allegations, saying his client skimmed the money in a “horribly misguided effort to pay back previous gambling losses that utilized the Jaguars’ VCC program,” according to The Athletic.

The attorney said Patel is cooperating with the investigation from the Jaguars, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, and that he has checked himself into rehab for gambling addiction.

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