A former Jacksonville Jaguars employee recently pleaded guilty to stealing $22 million from the team. He reportedly used a large bulk of it to gamble.
Now, FanDuel, the online sportsbook where the money was wagered – and lost – is reportedly unwilling to give the team the money back.
Amit Patel, first employed by the team in 2018, is said to have exploited the team’s credit card program, using the money to buy two vehicles, a condo, a $100,000 watch, sports memorabilia, a country club membership, concert tickets and spa treatments and other personal expenses.
Patel’s attorney, Alex King, said that Patel did not use the money to live lavishly but rather used it in a “horribly misguided effort to pay back previous gambling losses.” King says Patel has a “gambling disorder,” which he is receiving treatment for.
Patel, said to be “the biggest loser ever on FanDuel” and a “legendarily bad” bettor, reportedly lost $20 million on daily fantasy and other wagers through the sportsbook, all of which was taken via the team’s VCC.
FanDuel and the Jaguars did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, ESPN says the Jaguars and NFL are working on a “settlement.” A source told ESPN that FanDuel had received the money “fair and clear. It’s not our problem that we have to forfeit it back to you.”
Back in December, the team said they had been cooperating with the FBI and other law enforcement.
“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,” the team said at the time.
Patel was able to hide his transactions by “reoccurring VCC transactions, such as catering, airfare and hotel charges, and then duplicated those transactions” and “inflated the amounts of legitimate reoccurring transactions.”
The team said that it terminated Patel last year, and he was charged with one count each of wire fraud and illegal monetary transaction.
Past media guides say Patel was a financial planning and analysis coordinator, and then manager.