The Jacksonville Jaguars are in talks with FanDuel about recovering about $20 million lost by a former employee on the platform. The ex-employee, Amit Patel, who was a finance manager for the Jaguars, pleaded guilty to embezzling $22 million through a virtual credit card system used by the team for expenses. Patel reportedly lost around $20 million of the embezzled funds on daily fantasy and sports bets at FanDuel and an additional $1 million on DraftKings over a period of three and a half years.
Patel faces up to 30 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for his actions. FanDuel alerted the NFL to Patel’s betting activities in January 2023, leading to the discovery of the embezzlement scheme. Online records show that Patel engaged in extensive high-stakes and high-volume daily fantasy play on FanDuel and DraftKings, incurring significant losses.
The Jaguars are seeking reimbursement for the stolen funds, but legal experts note that FanDuel may have a legal obligation to ensure that funds used for sports betting are legally obtained. While the operator views the funds as legitimately obtained despite Patel’s crime, discussions are ongoing for a potential settlement. The outcome of these discussions will have implications for future handling of misappropriated funds involving online gambling platforms and the responsibilities of operators in such cases.
Patel lived extravagantly during his time with the Jaguars, and his attorney denies allegations that he funded his lifestyle with stolen money, attributing his actions to a misguided effort to pay back previous gambling losses. Patel has acknowledged a gambling disorder and is undergoing therapy.
This case sheds light on the legal challenges of enforcing regulatory compliance and responsible gambling practices in the industry. It also highlights the complexities of dealing with misappropriated funds and the potential legal loopholes that gambling operators may use to retain the funds.