Former Jaguars employee accused of stealing $22 million from club over five-year period

Former Jaguars employee accused of stealing $22 million from club over five-year period
Former Jaguars employee accused of stealing $22 million from club over five-year period
Syndication: Florida Times-Union
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A former Jacksonville Jaguars employee is in hot water, as he has been accused of stealing more than $22 million from the NFL club over a five-year period from 2019-23, per The Athletic. Amit Patel is the former employee named in court documents that were filed in Jacksonville earlier this week, and he allegedly took advantage of the Jaguars' virtual credit card program. Patel was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of illegal monetary transaction.

Patel's titles during his time with the Jaguars included coordinator, financial planning and analysis, and manager, financial planning and analysis. With the Jaguars' virtual credit card program, Patel allegedly bought a number of items including two vehicles and a condominium. He also reportedly purchased cryptocurrency and even placed bets on online gambling sites. The Jaguars confirmed they were a victim of the financial crimes.

"We can confirm that in February 2023, the team terminated the employment of the individual named in the filing," the Jaguars 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."

The Athletic reports Patel oversaw the company's monthly financial statements, department budgets and served as the club's administrator of its virtual credit card program. This power allegedly allowed him to commit fraud. The court filing claims Patel hid transactions 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."

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