Ben “Parlay” Patz Turns Himself into Authorities: Accused of Threatening Several Athletes
Thursday morning update: Ben “Parlay” Patz turned himself into a federal marshall on Thursday and will appear in federal courthouse in Tampa this afternoon for an initial hearing, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office confirmed to The Action Network.
Patz’s attorney, David Weisbrod, told The Action Network that Patz will attend a two-part hearing on Thursday. First, the judge will inform him of what he is been charged with, and second, a discussion will take place as to what restrictions he has, whether he will be released, where he can travel to and if there is any bond.
U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez charged 23-year-old gambler Ben “Parlay” Patz with allegedly threatening to carry out acts of violence against athletes and their families, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced Wednesday.
Patz rose to modest fame in the gambling space during the past football season for amassing over $1.1 million in gross winnings via parlays in less than two months. The Action Network covered Patz’s betting exploits throughout the end of 2019.
According to the complaint, Patz — using various accounts — allegedly sent Instagram messages to a Pepperdine basketball player noted as C.R. (likely Colbey Ross) on March 9, 2019, after the team beat San Francisco, 89-72.
“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.”
The complaint also says that after Patz bet $10,000 on the Rams to win the Super Bowl, and they lost to the New England Patriots, Patz sent a direct message to a Patriots player with the initials J.E. (likely Julian Edelman). “I’ll rape and murder your entire family,” Patz allegedly wrote. Edelman caught 10 passes for 141 yards en route to the game’s MVP.
Patz also allegedly fired off a note to R.G. (likely Rob Gronkowski): “I will brutally rape and murder your family. … I will enter your home while you sleep and sever your neck open with a dull knife.”
On July 4, 2019, he sent an Instagram message to Toronto Blue Jays player F.G. (likely Freddy Galvis): “I will behead you n****r” and “I will gas your daughters and then sever their throats open with a dull knife.”
On July 20, 2019, an Instagram message allegedly from Patz threatened a player for the Tampa Bay Rays with initials C.R. (likely Chaz Roe): “Your family will be beheaded.”
The Tampa Bay Rays provided this statement to The Action Network: “The safety of our players and staff is paramount and all threats are taken seriously. During the 2019 season, a Rays player notified club officials of threats he received on social media. The Rays brought the issue to the Clearwater resident office of the FBI, and their agents initiated an investigation that subsequently identified three additional Rays players who had been threatened. The Rays and the players involved are cooperating with the FBI as the legal process continues.”
Also on July 20, 2019, a woman with the initials B.M. (likely Briana Miller), the girlfriend of a Atlanta Braves player with the initials J.D. (likely Josh Donaldson) got a message: “Your husband will be beheaded. I’ll enter your home while you sleep and end both of you.”
The Action Network reached out to Donaldson through his current team, the Minnesota Twins. He did not want to comment on the case.
A week later, another Braves player with the initials M.F. (likely Max Fried) got messages from an account allegedly run by Patz: “I’ll behead you and your family. I’ll sever your neck open with a dull knife.”
A call to Patz was not immediately returned.
Patz wrote approximately 18 messages from his @parlaypatz account on Instagram and hundreds of other messages from burner accounts, the complaint alleges. They were all sent to athletes, or people related to athletes, including writing direct messages to players who cost him money.
On Nov. 24, the case notes, he allegedly sent a message to D.M. on the Oregon Ducks football team. “That defense costed my $30K man,” Patz said.
The day before, Patz had a $20,000 five-team moneyline parlay that included heavily favorited Oregon to beat Arizona State. The Ducks lost 31-28. The bet would have paid $26,400.
William Hill, where Patz told The Action Network he placed the majority of his bets, issued the following statement on the matter: “William Hill has always cooperated with law enforcement on matters they are investigating. This cooperation is an important benefit of legalized sports betting — black market operators don’t cooperate with law enforcement; we do. The individual in question no longer has an account at William Hill.”
The charge against Patz is transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce. If convicted, Patz faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The case was investigated with the FBI as part of the Bureau’s Integrity in Sport and Gaming Initiative, which is designed, among other things, to combat threats of influence from criminal enterprises.