Amit Patel, a former employee of the American football club Jacksonville Jaguars, is facing allegations of embezzling over $22 million (₹183.3 crore) from the franchise between 2019 and 2023.
What Happened: The Indian-origin man reportedly exploited the organization’s virtual credit card program for personal gains, using the ill-gotten funds to make various purchases, including two vehicles, a condominium, and a luxury watch valued at over $95,000, the Athletic reported. Some of the misappropriated funds were also allegedly used for cryptocurrency investments and online gambling.
Court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Florida, identified Patel, who worked for the Jaguars for five years from 2018, as the key figure in this financial malfeasance. While the organisation was referred to as “Business A” in the federal filing, the Jaguars confirmed they were the victim of Patel’s alleged crimes and terminated his employment in February.
Breaking Trust: The team emphasised that Patel, a former manager of financial planning and analysis, misused his trusted position for significant fraudulent financial activities. The charges clarified that Patel did not have access to confidential football-related information. The organization cooperated fully with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida during the investigation.
Patel, listed in the Jaguars’ media guides from 2018 to 2022 was fired in February 2023. Before his termination, he held responsibility for overseeing monthly financial statements, department budgets and the club’s virtual credit card (VCC) program.
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The court filing reportedly revealed that Patel’s manipulation of the VCC program allowed him to conduct fraudulent transactions by duplicating legitimate charges, inflating amounts and entering fictitious transactions. The misappropriated funds were allegedly used for personal travel, real estate, luxury vehicles, legal retainers, and a variety of other expenditures.
Consequences: If convicted, he may be required to forfeit assets valued at least $22.2 million, representing the proceeds of the offenses. The filing also suggests the forfeiture of assets purchased or funded with the proceeds of the offenses or involved in illegal monetary transactions.
Patel reportedly filed a waiver of indictment, agreeing to legal proceedings by information rather than indictment.
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