Federal authorities in Florida on Wednesday charged a 23-year-old sports bettor known as “Parlay Patz” with transmitting threats of violence directed at professional and collegiate athletes and their friends and families.
According to the criminal complaint, Benjamin Tucker Patz of New York used multiple anonymous accounts on social media in 2019 to make threats against athletes, including members of the New England Patriots, several Major League Baseball teams and multiple college basketball and football players. Some of the threats contained derogatory terms and racial slurs.
Patz is charged with transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of up to five years in federal prison.
Patz did not immediately respond to phone and email messages from ESPN.
On March 9, 2019, Patz allegedly sent four Instagram direct messages to an unidentified Pepperdine basketball player, stating, “Your throat will be severed open with a dull knife,” “Your entire family will be beheaded and burned alive,” “I will enter your home as you sleep and kill you” and “Watch your back, you’re a dead man walking.”
In an affidavit, FBI Special Agent…