A former Jacksonville Jaguars employee has been accused of astonishingly brazen financial crimes, according to The Athletic.
Amit Patel, who worked for the Jaguars from 2018 until this year, was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of illegal monetary transaction this week in federal court for allegedly exploiting the team's virtual credit card program to the tune of $22 million.
Patel is listed in past Jaguars media guides with the title of "Financial Planning and Analysis Coordinator," followed by "Manager, Financial Planning and Analysis." He was reportedly fired in February. In that role, Patel reportedly oversaw the organization's monthly financial statements and department budgets.
His responsibilities also reportedly included overseeing the virtual credit card program. Beginning in September 2019, he was alleged to have made fraudulent transactions and hid them by identifying “reoccurring VCC transactions, such as catering, airfare, and hotel charges, and then duplicated those transactions; he inflated the amounts of legitimate reoccurring transactions; he entered completely fictitious transactions that might sound plausible, but that never actually occurred.”
Here is a list of everything Patel was reportedly alleged to have bought, used or accrued with proceeds from the scheme:
a condo in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
a Tesla Model 3
a Nissan pickup truck
online gambling bets
a designer watch worth over $95,000
private jets and luxury hotels for travel with his friends
a retainer with a criminal defense law firm
a country club membership
concerts and sporting event tickets
The law firm retainer at least shows he was thinking ahead.
The Jaguars are reportedly identified as "Business A" in the filing against Patel, but they confirmed they were the alleged victims in a statement to The Athletic. The organization said it had been participating with an FBI investigation for several months, and Patel had no impact on the actual football team:
“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. “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.”