Sports bettor 'Parlay' Patz charged with threatening to behead athletes and their families

"Parlay' Patz is accused of graphic, violent threats toward Tampa Bay Rays players and other athletes. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
"Parlay' Patz is accused of graphic, violent threats toward Tampa Bay Rays players and other athletes. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Benjamin “Parlay” Patz evidently does not deal well with losing.

The 23-year-old sports bettor who claimed in 2019 to have won more than $1.1 million betting long-shot sports parlays is facing serious charges related to apparent lost wagers.

United States attorneys charged Patz on Wednesday with transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce. He faces up to five years in prison.

What’s he accused of doing? Threatening to behead college and professional athletes and their families.

According to an affidavit provided by the Department of Justice, Patz used multiple anonymous accounts to send graphic threatening Instagram messages to MLB, NFL and college athletes connected to games he’s suspected of wagering on.

The DOJ news release announcing the charges focuses on threats Patz allegedly sent to four Tampa Bay Rays players and one Chicago White Sox player after a July 20, 2019, White Sox win over the Rays.

‘I will cut up your family, dismember them alive’

From the release:

Threats around Patriots Super Bowl, college hoops

A 21-page affidavit provided by FBI special agent David Nowak claims that Patz’s alleged threats extended well beyond those related to that Rays-White Sox game.

On the day the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in the 2019 Super Bowl, Patz is suspected of messaging a New England Patriots player, “I will brutally rape and murder your entire family.”

A Twitter account allegedly belonging to Patz posted a $10,000 bet on the Rams in the game New England won, 13-3.

Patz is suspected of messaging a University of Arizona basketball player a Dec. 22, 2019, message reading: “Your worthlessness costed me over 100,000$ tonight! Sad!!”

Threats include racist language

Some of the messages Patz is suspected of sending use racist language. A Toronto Blue Jays player received a pair of messages on July 4, 2019, threatening him and his family, according to the affidavit.

“I will behead you [racial slur]," one read.

“I will gas your daughters and then sever their throats open with a dull knife,” the other read.

In total, Patz is suspected of sending more than 300 threatening messages to athletes and their families.

“A review of direct messages stored on the targeted Instagram accounts revealed approximately 307 total other accounts that the targeted accounts had messaged, with nearly all the accounts receiving threatening and explicit messages,” the affidavit reads.

“Almost all those accounts appeared to belong to professional or collegiate athletes, or to a family member or significant other of those athletes.”

Multiple MLB players cited in affidavit

Members of the Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals were also mentioned in the affidavit.

The affidavit also suggests Patz didn’t just send angry messages after losing bets, but may have attempted to influence the outcomes of games.

“His substantial and persistent online sports wagering suggests that Patz may have threatened athletes who played in games on which he had unsuccessfully wagered and lost money — or that he may have tried to influence the outcome of upcoming sporting events on which he had wagered,” the affidavit reads.

Patz lives in New York, but faces charges in Florida directly related to the threats connected to the Rays-White Sox game. It’s not clear if he will face separate charges related to other threats.

A representative from the U.S. Attorney’s Office told the Associated Press that Patz had arranged to turn himself in but was not in custody as of Wednesday evening.

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