Ben “Parlay” Patz found himself in the news for winning more than $1.1 million via parlays in less than a two-month span during 2019.
Now, he is in the news for all of the wrong reasons.
U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez charged the 23-year-old Patz with threatening athletes and their families on social media, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced Wednesday.
Patz turned himself in on Thursday and will appear in a federal courthouse in Tampa for an initial hearing on Thursday afternoon, according to The Action Network.
The parlay player allegedly sent threatening Instagram messages to multiple players and their families using anonymous accounts in 2019.
“In many of the messages, Patz threatened to enter the athletes’ homes and behead them or their family members,” the press release said. “Some of Patz’s threats also contained derogatory terms and racial slurs directed at those individuals.”
Patz, who splits time living in New York and California, sent particularly graphic messages to four players for the Tampa Bay Rays and a player for the Chicago White Sox after the two teams played on July 20, 2019.
“Unfortunately 0-5 against the Chicago White Sox isn’t going to cut it. Because of your sins, I will have to behead you and your family.”
“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.”
If Patz is convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The FBI took part in investigating the case as part of the Bureau’s Integrity in Sport and Gaming Initiative, which is designed to combat threats of influence from criminal enterprises.
Patz rose to fame by winning more than $1.1 million in less than two months via parlays, usually backing big money-line favorites. After the Patz news broke on Wednesday, some athletes took to Twitter to address sports bettors that message them following losses.
Patz’s hearing was scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET in district court on Thursday.