Docs: Ex-Jags Employee Amit Patel Bought Tiger Woods’ 1996 Putter with Stolen Funds

Amit Patel, the former Jacksonville Jaguars employee who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and illegal monetary transaction in December, apparently had a taste for expensive sports memorabilia.

In a court filing from federal prosecutors obtained by ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, Patel’s spending included purchasing the putter Tiger Woods received as a gift for winning the 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship for $47,113.92.

Patel pleaded guilty to the two felony charges after he was accused of stealing more than $22 million from the Jaguars over a four-year period from 2019 to ’23.

Among Patel’s other expenditures, according to the court filing, were more than $278,000 on hotels, rental properties and travel expenses; $140,412.97 on eBay purchases; $69,025.26 on Ticketmaster; and $70,362.06 on plane tickets with various airlines.

Patel also had a $275,000 retainer for his attorney.

Alex King, Patel’s lawyer, had argued his client suffered from a gambling addiction that contributed to his stealing funds from the Jaguars and “approximately 99 percent of the misappropriated funds” were used to pay off his losses.

The filing noted prosecutors rebutted that by arguing $5 million of the stolen funds went to personal expenses for Patel. The documents also show Patel transferred approximately $20 million to FanDuel, $1 million to DraftKings and used the rest on various expenditures, including $600,000 at Apple.

In the original court filing in December, it was alleged Patel became the sole administrator of the Jaguars’ VCC program that served as a payment method functioning like a credit card account without a physical credit card.

Certain employees were allowed to use the program for business-related purchases. Patel was accused of duplicating expenses and inflating the purchase amount of legitimate purchases.

Patel is set to be sentenced on Tuesday, with federal prosecutors recommending a seven-year prison term. He faces up to 30 years and a $500,000 fine after his guilty plea.

The 1996 U.S. Amateur Golf Championship was one of the most thrilling of Woods’ storied career. He overcame a five-hole deficit with 16 left to play before hitting back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 to force a playoff with Steve Scott.

Woods won the playoff with a par on the second hole after Scott’s bogey. It was Tiger’s third consecutive Amateur Championship win. He’s one of only four men’s golfers with at least three amateur titles.

Gideon Canice

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