A former employee for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars has been charged with stealing more than $20 million dollars from the franchise over a seven-year period, according to reports.
The alleged embezzlement occurred from 2019 to 2023.
Per a charging document that was filed this week and obtained by the outlet, Patel is alleged to have taken a total of $22,221,454.40 while employed by the team.
Patel is charged in the Middle District of Florida with wire fraud and illegal monetary transaction for allegedly using the team’s funds to support his own lavish lifestyle.
As the manager of financial planning and analysis, the now-former Jaguars employee oversaw the team’s virtual credit card program, per The Athletic.
He allegedly used the $22 million on a luxury condo, a Tesla Model 3, a truck and a membership at an exclusive country club.
Prosecutors also allege Patel charted private jets, stayed in luxurious hotels, paid for expensive watches and invested in cryptocurrency with team funds.
One watch reportedly cost the team $95,000.
An attorney for Pateel told The Athletic his client suffers from a gambling addiction.
Former Jacksonville Jaguars employee Amit Patel is facing federal charges. Patel’s attorney says he “suffers from a serious gambling addiction” and checked himself into a rehab facility in the spring. @SamBrockNBC reports. pic.twitter.com/esbxN2qkd2
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 8, 2023
According to ESPN, Patel allegedly stole money from the team by duplicating transactions that were legitimate.
Other transactions made by Patel were allegedly made illegitimate and made so that Patel could enrich himself.
The Jaguars were listed as “Business A” in the court filing.
In a statement obtained by ESPN, the Jaguars seemed to confirm the salacious story.
“We can confirm that in February 2023, the team terminated the employment of the individual named in the filing,” the team said.
The Jaguars also said the FBI was involved in the investigation.
“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,” the team said in the statement.
The statement concluded:
“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.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.