Former Jaguars Financial Manager Sentenced to 78 Months for $22M Theft

Amit Patel, the former Jacksonville Jaguars employee who pled guilty to stealing $22 million from the team, was sentenced to 78 months in prison on Tuesday.

Mar 12, 2024 • 15:34 ET • 4 min read
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A former Jacksonville Jaguars employee who pled guilty to stealing $22 million from the team, was sentenced to 78 months in prison on Tuesday, according to ESPN.

Amit Patel was accused of one count of wire fraud and one count of an illegal monetary transaction in December 2023. Patel had worked for the NFL team in the organization’s financial department between 2018 through 2023. Patel was fired from the organization last February. 
During his employment, Patel stole $22 million from the organization’s virtual credit card program. Patel subsequently pleaded guilty to the charges.  

"I stand before you embarrassed, shamed, and disappointed by my actions," Patel said during Tuesday's hearing. "I can never truly convey how sorry I am to everyone affected by my actions." 

According to his lawyer, Patel had a “serious gambling addiction.” Patel wagered most stolen funds on high stakes daily fantasy sports.  

Under his FanDuel name of “ParlayPicker,” Patel was apparently well known to other DFS players for his poor performance. But this didn’t stop Patel from entering high-stakes contests, costing up to $24,000 for a single entry.  

Patel stole money from the team’s virtual credit card program, depositing it directly into his FanDuel account. He also bought cryptocurrencies with the funds, subsequently depositing them in his DFS account. 

The Jaguars organization asked FanDuel to return the $20 million that Patel wagered on its site. Under federal law, FanDuel is obligated to ensure funds used for sports betting are legally obtained, however, daily fantasy sports law is less clear. Thus far, FanDuel has refused to return the funds. But that doesn’t rule out some kind of settlement in the foreseeable future.

Patel has been ordered to attend Gamblers Anonymous meetings.

'Amit broke our hearts'

Last week, Patel’s lawyers filed a pre-sentencing memo. In that memo, Patel stated, “I’m glad that I got caught. Although I have much trust to restore in the community, I now see the situation as a way to help as many others as I can who have addictions and problems with gambling. I realize that because it happened to me, it can happen to anybody.” 

Jaguars senior vice president Megha Parekh also read a statement during the hearing. 

"We gave him his dream job. We trusted him. We worked with him. We broke bread with him. We went through a pandemic and the highs and lows of the NFL with him," Parekh said. "He betrayed us. We take no joy in his punishment. Make no mistake, Amit broke our hearts." 

During sentencing, prosecutors noted that Patel had returned $1.89 million. While Patel was ordered to pay back the balance of the stolen funds, even the judge acknowledged that would be unlikely given his felony convictions.

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