In a shocking turn of events, a former financial manager for the Jacksonville Jaguars has been accused of orchestrating a daring heist that saw him allegedly steal over $22 million from the team. Amit Patel, the mastermind behind this audacious scheme, is now facing charges of wire fraud and illegal monetary transactions.
According to court filings from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, Patel, who worked for an organization referred to as “Business A,” used his position as the sole administrator of a virtual credit card program to carry out his elaborate plan. From September 2019 to February 2023, Patel allegedly made a series of unauthorized purchases, ranging from luxury vehicles to a lavish condo in Florida.
The list of items Patel is accused of acquiring with the stolen funds is nothing short of extravagant. Among his alleged purchases are a Tesla Model 3 sedan, a Nissan pickup truck, a high-end Patek Philippe watch worth over $95,000, and even cryptocurrency. Patel didn’t stop there, as he also splurged on electronics, sports memorabilia, furniture, concert tickets, airline tickets, spa treatments, and a country club membership.
But Patel’s spending spree didn’t end with material possessions. The former Jaguars employee is also accused of using some of the stolen money for online gambling and even hiring a criminal defense lawyer on retainer. It seems he was determined to cover his tracks and protect himself from the consequences of his actions.
To conceal his illicit activities, Patel allegedly manipulated the team’s ledger by duplicating legitimate recurring transactions and creating fake transactions that appeared plausible. He also moved legitimate transactions from later months to earlier filings, ensuring that the accounting department remained unaware of his fraudulent activities.
The Jaguars, in a statement to The Athletic, confirmed that Patel was indeed the employee referred to as “Business A” in the court filings. They terminated his employment in February 2023 and conducted an independent review, which concluded that no other team employees were involved or aware of Patel’s criminal behavior.
As the legal proceedings unfold, Patel’s attorney has filed a waiver of indictment, allowing the case to proceed based on the information filed on Tuesday. If found guilty, Patel will be forced to forfeit at least $22,221,454.40 in property, including the condo, Tesla sedan, and the extravagant Patek Philippe watch.
This shocking case of embezzlement has sent shockwaves through the sports world, tarnishing the reputation of the Jacksonville Jaguars and raising questions about the team’s internal financial controls. As the investigation continues, the full extent of Patel’s alleged crimes will be revealed, and justice will be sought for the stolen millions.