After a former Jacksonville Jaguars employee stole millions from the franchise and lost a majority of the money playing on FanDuel, the organization is reportedly asking the gambling company for some degree of reimbursement.
FanDuel, however, is reportedly unwilling to pay.
“The Jacksonville Jaguars have asked FanDuel to reimburse them for some or all of the approximately $20 million in stolen proceeds a former employee lost on the site, but the company is unwilling to pay, a source familiar with the situation told ESPN,” the site reported.
“Amit Patel, a midlevel finance manager, has pleaded guilty to stealing $22 million through a virtual credit card system the Jaguars used for expenses. Sources with knowledge of the case told ESPN that Patel lost about $20 million of the funds on daily fantasy and sports bets at FanDuel, which had assigned him a VIP host. He lost about $1 million on DraftKings, sources said.
“Patel transferred money directly from the team VCC to FanDuel, sources said.
“The source familiar with the situation said discussions are ongoing among FanDuel, the Jaguars and the NFL on what the source called ‘a settlement.’ However, the source said, ‘The way they see it … we got this money fair and clear. It’s not our problem that we have to forfeit it back to you.’
“‘I would be gobsmacked if it happened,’ the source added.”
It’s a unique situation, as FanDuel certainly wasn’t aware of the fact that it was accepting money that was stolen. Meanwhile, the Jaguars find themselves in a tricky spot where they must pick up the pieces of Patel’s scheme.
On the field, Jacksonville had a disappointing 2023 campaign, falling apart down the stretch and ultimately missing the postseason. The Jaguars lost five of their final six games in the regular season to finish 9-8, costing them a chance to crash the playoff party.
In the 2022 season, a 9-8 record was enough for Jacksonville to reach the playoffs, and the team made the most of the opportunity, grabbing a postseason win before fizzling out in the second round. But in the 2023 season, 9-8 didn’t get the job done.
The stolen money likely won’t impact the trajectory of the Jaguars as a team, especially since the franchise was valued at $4 billion as recently as August of 2023, per Forbes. But the saga is certainly a thorn in the franchise’s side, and it will be interesting to see how the situation with FanDuel gets resolved.
Jacksonville played both Kansas City and San Francisco during the regular season and went 0-2 in those matchups, outcomes that didn’t help the squad’s playoff hopes.
With any luck, the Jaguars will find themselves on the big stage in the near future. The franchise is still trying to reach and win its first Super Bowl.