The Jacksonville Jaguars are seeking money that was stolen and used to fund an ex-employee gambling habit returned from FanDuel, according to ESPN.com
Amit Patel was responsible for the NFL team’s virtual credit card and pleaded guilty to wire fraud and illegal monetary transactions in Federal Court to the figure of $22 million.
In his time at the Jaguars Patel was responsible for departmental budgets and monthly financial statements up until his termination in February of last year.
According to federal court documents Patel staggeringly used the funds “to place bets with online gambling websites, to purchase a condominium in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to pay for personal travel for himself and friends (including chartering private jets and booking luxury hotels and private rental residences), to acquire a new Tesla Model 3 sedan and and luxury wrist watches.”
This incredible amount of outlandish fraud seemed to go unnoticed as Patel was the sole administrator of the company system, managing to place $20 million worth of sportsbook bets with the ill-gotten gains.
Jaguars fighting tooth and nail
The Jaguars are believed to be pursuing the embezzled funds on the grounds that they were acquired by illegal means to place the sportsbook bets.
According the the ESPN.com report, there is a “settlement” ongoing between FanDuel, the NFL and the Jaguars.
Patel’s attorney Alex King said that his client suffers from a “serious gambling addiction” and the majority of the funds he embezzled were to patch over those massive debts according to the Athletic.
King said “It started with a little bit and, as these things usually do, spiraled wildly out of control.”
”Almost the entirety of the funds Mr. Patel used from the VCC were spent on the gambling websites and efforts to win money back, with the anticipation he would repay the funds with the winnings and make the Jaguars whole,” King told the Athletic about his clients $20 million in bets to FanDuel and 1$ million to Draftkings.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Patel’s compulsive gambling only exacerbated the situation, and he continued to misappropriate funds in an effort to have gambling winnings offset his significant losses,” he concluded.
The Jaguars will be enquiring about the lack of account red flags and gambling controls that were not triggered with the amount of large daily sums that were wagered by Patel.
No matter the outcome this will most definitely set a precedent in the world of sports gambling, but for the Jaguar’s sake, they will hope the lion’s share of the luck falls their way.
Image: Jean-Daniel Francoeur, Pexels.