Jaguars Employee: 6.5-Year Sentence, $22M Embezzlement


A Florida resident has been handed a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence for embezzling $22 million from the Jacksonville Jaguars to support an extensive gambling habit. Amit Patel, aged 31, was convicted of wire fraud and engaging in illegal monetary transactions concerning the misappropriation, having pleaded guilty last December.

In a ruling presided over by U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr., Patel was ordered to reimburse the Jaguars with $21.1 million and to undergo professional treatment for his gambling addiction.

Patel served as the finance manager for the NFL team from 2018 to 2023, during which time he became the sole overseer of the organization’s virtual credit card (VCC) system. Exploiting this position, he diverted precisely $22,221,454.40 from the VCC program by falsifying numerous purchases and transactions lacking any legitimate business purpose.

The misappropriated funds were predominantly directed towards Patel’s accounts on platforms like FanDuel and DraftKings, where he endured substantial losses through high-stakes daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sports betting, utilizing the moniker “ParlayPicker.”

Described as a “high-volume, high-stakes DFS player,” Patel’s extravagant gambling endeavors drew attention, with one DFS regular branding him as the “biggest loser ever on FanDuel,” as per a December 2023 ESPN report.

In defense of his client, Patel’s attorney, Alex King, attributed his actions to a severe gambling addiction, claiming that “99% of the misappropriated funds” were lost in gambling pursuits. However, Patel also indulged in reckless spending unrelated to his addiction, transferring $5 million to personal accounts and indulging in luxury purchases.

Megha Parekh, the Jaguars’ senior vice president and chief legal officer, conveyed the team’s sense of betrayal, emphasizing Patel’s status as a beloved colleague who had breached their trust. “We gave him his dream job. We trusted him. We worked with him. We broke bread with him. He betrayed us. We take no joy in his punishment,” Parekh stated.

The Jaguars are currently exploring avenues to recover the misappropriated funds from FanDuel.

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