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Friday, March 1, 2024

Jaguars Ask FanDuel for $20M Refund of Stolen Funds

  • Jacksonville is trying to recoup $20 million an employee improperly used.
  • FanDuel has no legal obligation to repay the Jaguars, though conversations are ongoing.
Jaguars
Douglas DeFelice – USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars want a refund. FanDuel won’t give it to them.

The NFL organization asked the sports gambling giant for some, if not all, of the roughly $20 million in stolen money a former employee lost on the site, according to ESPN. FanDuel refuses, saying the money came to the sportsbook fairly and reimbursement isn’t its problem.

Amit Patel, who worked for the Jaguars in various financial roles from 2018 to ’23, was charged in December by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida for using a team-issued virtual credit card to support his lavish lifestyle and gambling addiction. He has pleaded guilty to stealing roughly $22 million through an online credit card system that Jacksonville uses for expenses. Almost all of his losses stem from playing daily fantasy sports. ESPN reported Patel lost around $20 million on FanDuel and $1 million on DraftKings.

The situation could set a precedent for daily-fantasy sports-related theft cases. Under federal law, FanDuel has no legal obligation to repay the Jaguars for their losses, despite a lack of knowledge about Patel’s behavior. Federal law obligates FanDuel to ensure money for sports betting is legally obtained, but daily fantasy blurs the line.

Patel also bought himself a Tesla, a condo in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., a Patek Philippe watch worth $95,000, and luxury travel arrangements. In December, he pleaded guilty to fraud charges in federal court and could face up to 30 years in prison and a $500,000 fine when he will be sentenced in mid-March. ESPN reported discussions of a possible resolution among FanDuel, the Jaguars, and the NFL remain ongoing.

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