(StraightNews.org) – A former employee of the Jacksonville Jaguars has been accused of stealing $22 million by “exploiting the team’s virtual credit card program.” Amit Patel allegedly embezzled the program to fund high-value purchases including a condo, designer watches, and cars.
A statement from the Jaguars confirmed that it had worked with the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office over several months to conduct the investigation. The statement went on to say that Mr. Patel was part of the financial planning and analysis team but took advantage of his position to “covertly and intentionally commit significant fraudulent financial activity at the team’s expense for personal benefit.”
Court filings reveal that Patel has been charged with wire fraud and one count of illegal monetary transactions and is accused of creating “completely fictitious transactions that might sound plausible, but that never actually occurred.”
The filing furthermore notes that Patel allegedly used team funds for gambling and private luxury travel for himself and his close friends. Among the purchases were a Tesla car, a Nissan pickup truck, a Patek Philippe Nautilus watch worth more than $95,000, and a property in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Mr. Patel was reportedly the sole administrator for the Jaguars’ VCC system – which works similarly to a traditional credit card system but operates online and without a physical card. The court file does not name the Jaguars but refers to the alleged victim as “Business A.” It also states that the accused waived his right to an indictment, which legal experts state signals that he intends to plead guilty.
The alleged theft dates back to 2019 and ended in 2023 when the Jaguars fired Mr. Patel. The Jaguars are based in Jacksonville, Florida, and are said to have a financial value of around $4 billion – representing a 15% increase in a year and placing the team in 28th place. The richest NFL team in America is the Dallas Cowboys, worth $9 billion.
Copyright 2023, StraightNews.org