Posted on: March 10, 2021, 10:04h.
Last updated on: March 10, 2021, 10:04h.
A well-known California sports bettor faces five years in a federal penitentiary after he pleaded guilty Wednesday to making threats against Major League Baseball players and their families nearly two years ago.
According to court documents, Benjamin Tucker Patz, aka “Parlay Patz,” reached an agreement last month with prosecutors. In the deal, he acknowledged that he sent messages “containing a true threat” to physically hurt a person. He also admitted to do it intentionally.
The 24-year-old admitted sending messages to four players from the Tampa Bay Rays and one from the Chicago White Sox. In court records, listed the players only by their initials.
The two teams faced each other on July 20, 2019 at the Rays Tropicana Field. The White Sox beat the Rays 2-1 in extra innings. They tied the game in the top of the ninth and won it in the 11th.
During the latter stages of the game, direct messages were sent to the players’ Instagram accounts from an account named “@b82hs9.”. A text stream to one player included the following threats: “I will enter your home while you sleep”; “And sever your neck open”; “I will kill your entire family”; “Everyone you love will soon cease”; “I will cut up your family” and “Dismember the[m] alive.”
Investigators received records from the social media network that showed Patz used the same IP address to check his Instagram account roughly six hours after he used it for the anonymous account.
The Defendant sent the message to (the player) from California on July 20, 2019, and he did so with the knowledge that it would be viewed by (the player) and his family members as a true threat to injure,” the agreement stated.
A sentencing date has not been set for Patz.
More Than 300 Other Threats Alleged
The guilty plea comes just more than a year after the US Department of Justice charged Patz.
According to the initial complaint in the case, authorities alleged Patz made similar comments against players on other baseball teams during the month of July 2019.
Further, after receiving a subpoena for three Instagram accounts that sent threatening messages, investigators alleged Patz targeted more than 300 professional or college athletes with threatening messages using similar wording.
Despite pleading guilty to just one count, Patz still faces the same maximum penalty of five years in prison. He also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 as well as three years of supervised release.
How Parlay Patz Got His Name
Patz made the threats several months before he would become a household name in sports betting circles. Further, the investigation was already underway as well.
In December 2019, The Action Network published a lavish feature on Patz after he made more than $1 million in gross winnings playing moneyline parlays in just over a month. That’s how he ended up earning the nickname.
The article noted he used some of his winnings to charter a jet for him and his friends to spend time in the Caribbean at a timeshare. One of the pictures in the profile piece was him in shades walking off a private jet.
A few weeks later, Patz would make headlines again.