Acclaimed sports bettor Benjamin "Parlay Patz" Patz is accused of sending violent death threats to professional athletes and their family members with anonymous accounts through Instagram direct messages, according to a release on Wednesday from the Department of Justice. United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez is officially charging Patz with transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce.
Patz caught the eye of the gambling world in November after making over $600,000 on two bets: an $1,800, 15-leg parlay, and a $7,000 13-leg parlay. So it comes as no surprise that these messages, most of which focused on beheading the players or their family members, seemed to happen as a result of lost wagers. For example, on June 29, Patz placed a five-way parlay that included a Germany win over Sweden in the Women's World Cup. Sweden would go on to beat Germany, which prompted one of Patz's suspected burner accounts to message Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl "I will sever your aorta while you sleep."
The Cleveland Indians were another team on that late June parlay, and they would go on to lose to the Orioles where he allegedly sent threatening messages to players on both teams:
- To Indians pitcher Zach Plesac: "You and your family will die."
- To Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander: "I'm going to behead you and your entire family."
- To Orioles infielder Jonathan Villar: "I will enter your home while you sleep and sever your neck open with a dull knife" and "I will brutally murder your daughter."
Less than a month later, this burner account would go on a similarly unhinged spree of messaging professional baseball players after the Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Chicago White Sox.
According to the DOJ, Patz wouldn't limit himself to the professionals, according to the complaint. In multiple instances, he's accused of sending threats to the partners of the pros he previously threatened. One example given by the DOJ is the wife of Athletics pitcher Liam Hendriks. The account also messaged Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski after the Patriots' 13-3 Super Bowl win over the Rams.
The threats, which contain violent threats and imagery, are fully outlined in the DOJ report.
All of the threats didn't come from the alleged burners. The investigation found that on Dec. 22 Patz messaged Chase Jeter, a redshirt junior guard from the University of Arizona, "Your worthlessness costed me over 100,000$ tonight! Sad!!" from his personal account. Jeter replied: "Gambling is a dangerous habit. You're addicted. Stop it. Get some help!" To which Patz responded with "I'm doing just fine, over one million this month!''
Patz faces a maximum sentence of five years if convicted of this crime.