Jacksonville Jaguars

Former Jaguars employee allegedly stole $22 million from team, court filing says

The employee allegedly used the money to buy two cars, a condominium and a designer watch worth over $95,000, among other items


JACKSONVILLE, FL – AUGUST 26: A detail view of a Jacksonville Jaguars helmet on the sideline against the Miami Dolphins prior to a NFL game at EverBank Stadium on Saturday, August 26, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

Maybe that's why Trevor Lawrence didn't have a cart available after his ankle injury Monday.

A former Jacksonville Jaguars employee reportedly has been accused of stealing more than $22 million from the team through its virtual credit card program, The Athletic first reported Wednesday.

Amit Patel, who worked for the Jaguars for five years starting in 2018, allegedly used the money to buy two vehicles, a condominium and a designer watch worth $95,000, among other expensive items.

Patel was named in court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Fla., earlier this week. The Jaguars were not named in the filing but confirmed they were the victim of the alleged crimes.

According to the court filing, Patel used the money to place bets with online gambling websites, purchase a condo in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., personal travel for himself and friends that included private jet usage and luxury hotels, acquire a new Tesla Model 3 and Nissan pickup truck, obtain cryptocurrency and spa treatments and lodge a retainer with a criminal defense law firm, among additional items.

The filing added that Patel's authority over the virtual credit card program enabled him to make the payments, which allegedly included duplicated and inflated transactions for items like catering, airfare and hotel charges and fake transactions that never occurred.

“We can confirm that in February 2023, the team terminated the employment of the individual named in the filing,” the team said in a statement, via The Athletic. “Over the past several months we have cooperated fully with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida during their investigation and thank them for their efforts in this case.

"As was made clear in the charges, this individual was a former manager of financial planning and analysis who took advantage of his trusted position to covertly and intentionally commit significant fraudulent financial activity at the team’s expense for personal benefit. This individual had no access to confidential football strategy, personnel or other football information. The team engaged experienced law and accounting firms to conduct a comprehensive independent review, which concluded that no other team employees were involved in or aware of his criminal activity.”

Patel is listed in the team's media guides from 2018 to 2022. His positions during that span were coordinator, financial planning and analysis, then manager, financial planning and analysis. The filing stated he was fired in February 2023.

Patel’s attorney did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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