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Jaguars Employee Accused of $22.2 Million Fraud Played High Stakes Fantasy Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars (Credits: NFL)

Amit Patel, a former Jacksonville Jaguars employee accused of defrauding the franchise of $22.2 million, was known as a high-volume, high-stakes daily fantasy sports player who often incurred significant losses, according to online records of his account and multiple sources familiar with his activities.

Federal authorities allege that Patel, 31, manipulated the Jaguars’ virtual credit card program (VCC) to fund a luxurious lifestyle between 2019 and February 2023, when the Jaguars terminated his employment.

During this period, Patel was also playing daily fantasy sports (DFS) under the username “ParlayPicker” on FanDuel and DraftKings, multiple sources with direct knowledge of his account informed.

Rotogrinders, a prominent daily fantasy sports and betting site that tracks individual players’ results, indicates that ParlayPicker invested nearly $500,000 in fantasy tournaments across the NFL, Major League Baseball, PGA Tour, and UFC since 2017.

He frequently entered numerous lineups into fantasy tournaments with large prize pools, the online records show.

However, DFS players familiar with the ParlayPicker account believe his largest losses stemmed from high-stakes three-man contests with buy-ins upward of $24,000. Rotogrinders does not track such contests, so the results and buy-in figures are not reflected in its online records.

Patel’s attorney, Alex King, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. However, in a statement last week, King mentioned that his client suffers from a gambling addiction that fueled the alleged scheme.

“Mr. Patel did not use the Jaguars’ VCC to fund his lifestyle, but in a horribly misguided effort to pay back previous gambling losses that utilized the Jaguars’ VCC program,” King said.

King further stated that “approximately 99% of the funds misappropriated from the Jaguars’ VCC were gambling losses, almost all of which occurred” on FanDuel and DraftKings.

He told The Athletic that Patel “bet on football” and daily fantasy sports. Details of Patel’s betting activities outside of his daily fantasy play are unknown.

Jacksonville Jaguars (Credits: Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)

Drew Crawford, an avid DFS player, noticed ParlayPicker’s emergence in recent years. ParlayPicker’s first recorded play on Rotogrinders was in 2017, and the records show his total stakes in fantasy tournaments peaked in 2021 and 2022.

“He came out of nowhere,” Crawford told. “Usually in our circle of DFS guys, we kind of know the identities of the guys who were playing at extreme volume.

They’ve been around for a while. But with this guy, I remember having side conversations with some of my friends, who were like, ‘Who is this guy? And what is he doing?'”

ParlayPicker eventually gained a reputation for loose play and rookie mistakes. Crawford recalled ParlayPicker submitting rosters that included players not in the starting lineup.

Matt Smith, a well-known daily fantasy pro, told that ParlayPicker would “occasionally not even submit a lineup, despite it being a $3,000 buy-in.”

“My friend and I texted back and forth about how rich this guy must be,” Smith added.

As ParlayPicker’s play escalated and his errors became known in the DFS community, players made a point of seeking out contests against him, according to multiple daily fantasy sources.

One veteran DFS player, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they believe ParlayPicker is “the biggest loser ever on FanDuel.”

“He was legendarily bad,” the person added.

DraftKings and FanDuel declined to comment.

Patel is scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday in Jacksonville, where he is expected to plead guilty to charges of wire fraud and illegal monetary transaction.

In his statement last week, King said that Patel is “deeply remorseful” and is undergoing treatment for his gambling addiction.

The last tournament ParlayPicker entered that was tracked by Rotogrinders was DraftKings’ world golf championship on July 6—five months after the Jaguars fired him. The buy-in was $29,000. ParlayPicker finished tied for 129th out of 150 finalists.

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