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Press Release

Former Jacksonville Jaguars Employee Sentenced To More Than Six Years For Embezzling In Excess Of $22 Million

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Henry L. Adams today sentenced Amit Patel (31, Jacksonville) to six years and six months in federal prison for committing wire fraud and engaging in an illegal monetary transaction. As part of his sentence, the court entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $22,221,454.40, the proceeds of the wire fraud charge. Patel was also ordered to pay full restitution to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the victim of his offense and his former employer. Patel pleaded guilty on December 14, 2023.        

According to court documents, Patel operated a fraud scheme through which he embezzled approximately $22,221,454 from the Jaguars. Specifically, Patel used his role as the administrator for the team’s virtual credit card (VCC) program to make hundreds of purchases and transactions with no legitimate business purpose. Then, to hide and continue to operate the scheme, rather than accurately report his VCC transactions, Patel created accounting files that contained numerous false and fraudulent entries and emailed them to the Jaguar’s accounting department. Patel used a variety of methods to hide his illicit transactions by omitting them from the files, while still having the total dollar amount of VCC expenditures match the balances paid by the Jaguars for the VCC program line of credit. For example, to hide his fraudulent VCC transactions, Patel identified legitimate reoccurring VCC transactions, such as catering, airfare, and hotel charges, and then duplicated those transactions; he inflated the amounts of legitimate reoccurring VCC transactions; entered fictitious transactions that sounded plausible, but that never actually occurred; and moved legitimate VCC charges from upcoming months into the month of the accounting file that was immediately due to the accounting department.

Patel’s fraudulent transactions began in September 2019 and continued until he was fired by the Jaguars in February 2023. He used the proceeds of this scheme, in whole or part, to place bets with online gambling websites, to purchase a condominium in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to pay for personal travel for himself and friends (including chartering private jets and booking luxury hotels and private rental residences), to acquire a new Tesla Model 3 sedan and Nissan pickup truck, to pay a criminal defense law firm, and to purchase cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens, electronics, sports memorabilia, a country club membership, spa treatments, concert and sporting event tickets, home furnishings, and luxury wrist watches. Patel did not report any of this illicit income on his tax returns.

“This case exemplifies the FBI’s relentless effort to protect American companies and their customers,” said Mark Dargis, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “Amit Patel knowingly and wittingly created a deceptive scheme to fund a lavish lifestyle at his employer’s expense, and today’s sentencing is a warning to other scam artists: the FBI and our partners will continue to aggressively pursue corporate fraud investigations to protect consumers from bearing the costs associated with criminal activity.”

“Today, the IRS intercepted Patel’s playbook and achieved justice for the American public. Patel deceived the Jacksonville Jaguars and used his position of trust to steal from the team, gamble on games and fund a lavish lifestyle,” said IRS-CI Acting Special Agent in Charge Lani Rosado-Espinal. “IRS-CI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to provide the financial expertise to unravel sophisticated fraud and money laundering schemes.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brenna Falzetta and Michael J. Coolican. The asset forfeiture is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Mai Tran and Jennifer Harrington.

Updated March 12, 2024

Financial Fraud