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Jaguars embezzler went full Florida Man with his $22 million


The Florida man in Amit Patel — the Jaguars’ employee who embezzled $22 million from the team — was very strong. You’d expect that much ill-gotten cash would be spent on things that the cast of The Italian Job would buy, but this is the land of Parrot Heads, so the preferred route is to go hog wild at the sportsbook, and then blow the rest on weird online purchases.

In a court filing Thursday, federal prosecutors detailed Patel’s expenditures, and it read like a remake of Blank Check. There was $600,000 on Apple products, $47,113 for a Tiger Woods putter, $40,000 at Amazon and Best Buy, $140,412 on eBay, and, my personal favorite, $9,477 at the Jaguars team shop and stadium club.

Dude, you worked for the organization. I’m sure someone could’ve hooked you up with cheap and/or free swag. Also, how are you going to spend $2,200 on a game-used Trevor Lawrence jersey? Just go down to the locker room after a game and swipe a bunch of jerseys from the laundry, or try asking. I’m sure there are plenty of latent felons around.

Quick note to the Jaguars: If your financial manager is dropping thousands of dollars at the team shop like he’s on a shopping spree, or showing up at the stadium club draped in merch, maybe check your books. But who knows, perhaps they thought Patel was paying off his Tesla by driving for Uber.

Patel’s lawyer, Alex King, who was retained with $275,000 of the excess funds, said his client has a gambling addiction and that “99 percent of the misappropriated funds” were used to pay back gambling losses. King cited a gambling addiction as cause of Patel’s malfeasance as if an alcoholic who plows into a group of pedestrians should be given leniency because substance abuse is a disease.

To be honest, though, this is as close to a victimless crime as you’re going to get. Jaguar owner Shahid Khan owns AEW and an EPL club, so his coffers probably aren’t hurting for money. Plus, not too long ago, Nick Foles got away with $88 million. Sure, it was a legally binding, four-year contract, but it was still a heist.

Factor in the karma of the NFL getting in bed with sportsbooks, and then having some whack job team employee bilk a franchise out of $22 million, and the whole thing is high comedy. Patel dropped $77,000 at the Ponte Vedra Beach Inn & Club, including $25,581 on an initiation fee, and then another $5,508 on massages and cucumber water.

The first thing I’m doing with $22 million is buying property as far away from Florida as possible. And the last thing I’m doing, other than frittering it away on misguided parlays, is buying memorabilia. What purpose does a Tiger Woods putter serve? “Hey, everybody, come over to my house and check out my putter.”

Amit, darling, you mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger. But, of course, this is Florida, and once you’re within the state lines, all bets are . . . funded by stolen money, apparently. 

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