Sports bettor guilty of threatening teams that lost him money

Jon Pill
Posted on: March 14, 2021 05:00 PDT

Benjamin Tucker Patz is now formerly of Napa, California. His new residence will be whatever Floridian slammer the Tampa federal court decides to sling him into after he pled guilty this week to "transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce."

Patz, known as "Parlay Patz," was a sports betting pro with a decent record. Especially in late 2019, when over the course of three months, from November to December, he spun a profit of around $1 million dollars.

Patz was initially brought in after police identified him as being the hand inside a number of sock-puppet accounts on Instagram. Patz had made use of these accounts to contact four members of the Tampa Bay Rays, a baseball team. The messages contained threats over the Rays losing a match against the Chicago White Sox. Patz had money riding on the Rays.

The messages he sent included threats against the players and their families. At the time Patz was also cyber-bullying at least one member of the White Sox too.

Patz was charged back in March 2020, but the courts were slowed down by COVID. And Tampa being the kind of city that it is, the courts have plenty of work stacked up. It took a while for the case to get in front of a judge.

"I will cut up your family"

As the court case rolled on, it became clear that Patz's Tampa Bay Rays outburst was not isolated. This was part of a wider pattern of online threats.

The guilty plea is only for the threats against the four Rays and the White Sock. However, the prosecutors also accused Patz of having sent similar messages to members of other teams in a variety of sporting endeavours.

The threatened players included members of the L.A. Rams. Patz lost the $10k he put on them taking down the Super Bowl in 2019. Patz even went after a member of the Swedish women's soccer team after they hammered the German team in 2019's Women's World Cup.

Other baseball teams to have felt his wrath included: the Atlanta Braves, the San Diego Padres, the Oakland Athletics, the Cleveland Indians, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Kansas City Royals.

The criminal complaint listed several of the messages in full. They included lines like "I will enter your home while you sleep," and "I will cut up your family." Other messages contained threats of beheadings and sexual violence, as well as racial slurs. In one message Patz threatens to rape and murder the families of two of the New England Patriots' players.

Patz is just 24, and is looking at up to five years for his crime. However, the court made it clear that they will allow motions for reduced sentences.

As yet, Patz does not have a sentencing date.

Featured image source: Flickr