A former Jacksonville Jaguars employee who allegedly stole $22 million from the organization was a problem gambler who incurred massive losses making daily fantasy sports betting wagers, his attorney said late last week.
Attorney Alex King released a statement on Thursday regarding his client, Amit Patel.
Patel was suspended and later terminated by the Jaguars after meeting with NFL investigators in February regarding his daily fantasy sports issues.
“Approximately 99% of the funds misappropriated from the Jaguars’ VCC (virtual credit card) were gambling losses …” King said. “ … Mr. Patel did not use the Jaguars’ VCC to fund his lifestyle, but in a horribly misguided effort to pay back previous gambling losses that utilized the Jaguars’ VCC program.”
Massive DFS losses prior to probe
“The losses were most significant in the final months leading up to the NFL’s investigation,” King said.
Patel “met with NFL officials in February who were investigating his gambling activities, primarily involving Daily Fantasy Sports.”
“Mr. Patel suffers from a serious gambling addiction, and in the spring of this year, checked himself into extensive, inpatient rehabilitation to address his addiction. Mr. Patel’s serious gambling addiction does not excuse his actions, which he takes full responsibility for,” King said.
Jags on daily fantasy sports probe
The Jaguars issued a statement following the news, confirming Patel’s firing:
“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 the investigation and thank them for their efforts in this case,” the statement read.
“As we 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.”
Charges Patel is facing
Allegations emerged regarding how Patel funded his lavish lifestyle with stolen funds. He also purchased a condo, luxury vehicles and cryptocurrency.
“While it has been widely reported that Mr. Patel used the funds to live an extravagant lifestyle, his modest residence was paid for mostly with family money and other money earned. Additionally, Mr. Patel purchased a Tesla Model 3 with his earned funds and traded that in to upgrade his vehicle to a similar Model 3,” his attorney said.
He was charged with:
- One count of wire fraud.
- One count of illegal monetary transaction.