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ORLANDO, Fla. - A Jacksonville Jaguars employee is alleged to have stolen roughly $22 million from the team from 2019 through this year.
Amit Patel is said to have exploited the team's credit card program, using the money to buy two vehicles, a condo and a watch that cost almost $100,000. He was first employed by the team in 2018.
He is also suspected of gambling with the money he acquired, bought cryptocurrency with it, and even chartered private planes and booked luxury hotels.
"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 a statement. "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."
Past media guides say Patel was a financial planning and analysis coordinator and then manager.
Patel also allegedly purchased sports memorabilia, a country club membership, concert tickets and spa treatments, among other personal expenses.
He was able to hide his transactions by "reoccurring VCC transactions, such as catering, airfare, and hotel charges, and then duplicated those transactions" and "inflated the amounts of legitimate reoccurring transactions."
The team said they terminated Patel this past February.
Patel was charged with one count each of wire fraud and illegal monetary transaction.
The Jaguars fell to 8-4 after being upset by the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime on Monday, and to make things worse, they lost star quarterback Trevor Lawrence to an ankle sprain. His timetable is uncertain.