An Indian-origin man, Amit Patel, swindled $22 million (₹183.3 crore) from an American Football team, Jacksonville Jaguars, from 2019-2023. Patel, a former executive of Jacksonville Jaguars, used the team's coffers to fund his luxury lifestyle, buy expensive watches and a Tesla, and pay for his chartered flights.
Patel worked as a manager of financial planning and analysis of the team from 2018 to 2023.
The accused is named in court documents filed in the US District Court in Jacksonville, Florida. The team has not been named in the filing and has been referred to as "Business A" but the team confirmed it was the victim of Patel's alleged crimes, the Athletic reported.
Patel, oversaw the company’s monthly financial statements and department budgets and served as the club’s administrator of its virtual credit card (VCC) programme, which allowed certain authorized employees to “request VCC’s for business-related purchases or expenses,” according to the filing.
How He Did It?
According to a report by NDTV, Patel hid the transactions by manually flagging them as "recurring VCC transactions" such as catering, airfare, hotel fees, etc. and then inflated the amount to forge financial statements and entered an amount that may appear believable but also entered fictitious transactions that never occurred, the Athletic reported quoting documents filed in the court.
He then used this money to place online bets, buy cryptocurrency, purchase luxury watches and spa treatments, buy concert tickets, fund his travel in chartered flights, and buy a Tesla Model 3 sedan and a Nissan pick-up truck. The accused used the swindled money to purchase a condominium in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, court documents said.
“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,” Jacksonville Jaguars said in a statement, adding that no other employee was involved in or aware of Patel’s fraud.