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Bettor in custody, charged with threatening players

6th March, 02:19

A New York man accused of threatening athletes and their families through social media after he lost bets turned himself in to authorities in Florida on Thursday, according to multiple media reports.

Benjamin Tucker Patz, 23, also known as "Parlay Patz," is charged with transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Florida. He faces up to five years in federal prison.

Patz gained notoriety in the sports betting world through a series of articles published in 2019 detailing his $1.1 million in gross winnings from parlays, usually large favorites on the money line. He said he placed his bets through the William Hill app in New Jersey.

William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich, reached Thursday at his Las Vegas office, said he wasn't sure if Patz had ever placed bets in Nevada. He had no further comment.

William Hill did release a statement on Patz: "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."

Patz used anonymous Twitter and Instagram accounts to make his threats, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint details threats of violence, allegedly from Patz, to players from the New England Patriots, several MLB teams, Pepperdine basketball and the Swedish women's soccer team. Players are identified only by their initials.

In many messages, Patz threatened to enter the athletes' homes and behead them or their family members, according to the complaint. Some of Patz's threats also contained derogatory terms and racial slurs, investigators said.

Allegations in the complaint, all from 2019, include:

■ On Feb. 3, after the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl, Patz sent a message to one player that read, "ILL RAPE AND MURDER YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY." That day, Patz had posted a screenshot of a bet on the Rams to win the game.

■ On March 9, Patz sent a series of messages to a Pepperdine basketball player, among them, "Watch your back, you're a dead man walking."

■ On July 4, he directed threats at a Toronto Blue Jays player, including a racial slur, and said, "I WILL GAS YOUR DAUGHTERS AND THEN SEVER THEIR THROATS OPEN WITH A DULL KNIFE."

■ On July 20, he sent a message to the girlfriend of an Atlanta Braves player, saying, "I'll enter your home while you sleep and end both of you."