JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Amit Patel, the former Jacksonville Jaguars employee who pleaded guilty to stealing $22 million from the team, was sentenced to 6½ years in prison on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. also ordered that Patel, 31, pay the Jaguars $21.1 million in restitution and attend Gamblers Anonymous meetings.

"I stand before you embarrassed, shamed, and disappointed by my actions," Patel said during the hearing. He told the court he'd been sober for almost a year and was seeking help for his gambling addiction. "I can never truly convey how sorry I am to everyone affected by my actions."

Megha Parekh, the Jaguars' senior vice president and chief legal officer, read a statement on behalf of the team, which previously said that Patel had no access to football information and no other team employees were involved in Patel's activity.

"We gave him his dream job. We trusted him. We worked with him. We broke bread with him. We went through a pandemic and the highs and lows of the NFL with him," Parekh said. "He betrayed us.

"We take no joy in his punishment. Make no mistake, Amit broke our hearts."

2 Related

Federal prosecutors had recommended a seven-year sentence for wire fraud and illegal monetary transaction, while Patel's attorney, Alex King, had asked for punishments ranging from probation to one year in prison in court filings last week.

"We're pleased with today's results and we remain committed to investigating those who would seek to defraud the public and our business community," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Coolican said.

Patel admitted to stealing $22,221,454.40 from the Jaguars over 3½ years as the overseer of the team's virtual credit card program. According to court documents, Patel transferred approximately $20 million to FanDuel and $1 million to DraftKings, and used the rest of the stolen money on various other expenditures, including nearly $600,000 at Apple and more than $40,000 at Amazon and Best Buy combined.

He also transferred $5 million from his FanDuel and DraftKings accounts to his PayPal and other personal accounts, prosecutors said, and used it on a variety of purchases to live a "life of luxury," including purchasing Tiger Woods' 1996 putter and spending $78,800 on private jet charters.

King said in a December news release that Patel's behavior was fueled by gambling addiction and that "99% of the misappropriated funds" were used to pay back gambling losses. ESPN previously reported that Patel was a high-volume, high-stakes daily fantasy sports player known for racking up big losses. Patel was diagnosed with a gambling disorder in March 2023, a month after he was fired by the Jaguars, and has been receiving treatment and participating in Gamblers Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, according to a memo filed by King.

King's filing also said Patel started gambling online in high school and used his mother's credit card to play at casinos and poker rooms while in college. It added that while working at Deloitte in 2017, Patel used a company American Express card to incur gambling debts but paid back the money with the help of his older brother before he was detected by taking out a $16,000 debt consolidation loan.

The NFL's gambling policy prohibits club and league employees from gambling on any sport and from participating in daily fantasy sports.