Jacksonville Jaguars, FanDuel May Square Off in Legal Battle Over Stolen $20M

The Jacksonville Jaguars football team is embroiled in a legal battle with sports betting site FanDuel over $20 million that was embezzled from the team by a former employee and subsequently lost through online gambling. The team’s former employee, Amit Patel, is seeking to have FanDuel reimburse the stolen funds.

Patel, who was the administrator of the team’s virtual credit card (VCC) system, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and monetary transaction charges in December. He admitted to using a Jaguars virtual credit card to steal the money, which he then used to gamble on fantasy and sports events offered by FanDuel. The theft occurred over a period of four years, from 2019 to 2023, before Patel was fired in February 2023.

The former employee used the stolen money to support an extravagant lifestyle, which included chartering private jets, staying at luxury hotels, joining a country club, and purchasing expensive items such as a $95,000 watch. Patel’s attorney claimed that his client had lost the majority of the funds while gambling on FanDuel and other betting sites, with the expectation that he would repay the Jaguars with his winnings.

In court, Patel cited a gambling disorder as the reason for his actions and disclosed that he receives therapy for this disorder. However, this did not mitigate the consequences, as Patel faces the possibility of a 30-year prison sentence and a hefty fine.

The Jaguars, FanDuel, and the NFL are reportedly in talks to reach a settlement in the case. However, negotiations have hit a snag, with an unnamed source from FanDuel reportedly stating that they believe the money was obtained properly and they are not obligated to forfeit it back to the Jaguars.

The legal battle between the Jacksonville Jaguars and FanDuel may become a precedent for the responsibility of sports betting sites to ensure that funds used on their platforms are obtained legally, setting the stage for a potentially landmark legal decision.

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