United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg revealed that Amit Patel of Ponte Vedra Beach, aged 31, has chosen to waive indictment by a grand jury and has pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and engaging in an illegal monetary transaction. Patel potentially faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison, and a sentencing date is yet to be determined.
According to the plea agreement, Patel orchestrated a fraudulent scheme in which he embezzled approximately $22,221,454 from his employer, a Jacksonville-based business identified as “Business A.” Patel utilized his position as the administrator for Business A’s virtual credit card (VCC) program to conduct hundreds of purchases and transactions lacking a legitimate business purpose. To conceal and perpetuate the scheme, Patel crafted accounting files containing numerous false entries, which he then sent to Business A’s accounting department. These deceptive files omitted illicit transactions while ensuring that the total dollar amount of VCC expenditures matched the balances paid by Business A for the VCC program line of credit.
The fraudulent activities, initiated in September 2019, persisted until Patel’s termination by Business A in February 2023. Patel diverted the proceeds of the scheme to various activities, including online gambling, acquiring a condominium in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, personal travel arrangements (including private jet charters and luxury accommodations), purchasing a Tesla Model 3 sedan and Nissan pickup truck, retaining a criminal defense law firm, and investing in cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens, electronics, sports memorabilia, a country club membership, spa treatments, concert and sporting event tickets, home furnishings, and luxury wristwatches.
As part of the plea agreement, Patel has consented to forfeit $22,221,454.40, representing the proceeds of the wire fraud. Additionally, he will forfeit a condominium in Ponte Vedra Beach, a 2021 Tesla Model 3 sedan, and a Patek Philippe Nautilus watch, all of which were purchased or funded with the embezzled proceeds. Furthermore, Patel has committed to paying full restitution to his former employer.
The investigation into this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.