Sports Gambler Arrested for Allegedly Sending Threatening Messages to Athletes

Sports Gambler Arrested for Allegedly Sending Threatening Messages to Athletes


A prolific sports gambler armed with a short temper was arrested by federal prosecutors Thursday. Benjamin Tucker Patz allegedly sent numerous social media messages to athletes blaming them for lost wagers, according to authorities.

Threatening Messages Via Instagram

Police charged Patz, 23, who is known in the gambling community as “Parlay Patz,” with transmitting threats in interstate and foreign commerce. This is according to a criminal complaint filed by FBI Special Agent Daniel Nowak.

The complaint claims that Patz used Instagram direct messages to send shocking and inappropriate threats to baseball, football, basketball, and soccer players in 2019. These threats pertained to their “roles” or “performances” in sporting events that cost him money while gambling.

Patriots Players and Families Threatened

According to the complaint, Patz lost control, as well as $10,000, after he bet on the L.A. Rams to win Super Bowl LIII on February 3, 2019.

Special Agent Nowak refrained from using the full names of those threatened in his 20-page affidavit. He instead referred to them by their initials and team affiliation. Since many of the initials matched only one player on the team’s roster, figuring out who Patz threatened wasn’t too difficult.

Nowak identified the recipients of the following messages as J.E and R.G. from the New England Patriots:

“I’ll rape and murder your entire family” and “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.”

Atlanta Braves Player and Girlfriend Threatened

Patz also sent disturbing messages to the girlfriend of an Atlanta Braves player identified as J.D. The girlfriend, referred to as B.M., received the following message:  “Your husband will be beheaded” and “I’ll enter your home while you sleep and end both of you.”

The Atlanta Braves lost 5-3 to the Washington Nationals on July 20, 2019—a game Patz bet on. At the time, Josh Donaldson was playing third base. His girlfriend was Briana Miller, a well-known vegan activist.

Women’s World Cup Player Receives Disturbing Message

Patz also lost a slew of money betting on a Women’s World Cup competition between Germany and Sweden on June 29, 2019, in which Sweden upset Germany 2-1. Sweden’s goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl led her team to victory by stopping five of Germany’s six shots during the match.

Patz, who had bet on Germany to win the match, sent a message to Swedish player H.L. saying,  “I’m going to rape and dismember you” and “I will sever your aorta while you sleep.”

In Denial About Gambling Addiction

One athlete that Patz sent a message to actually confronted him by responding, “Gambling is a dangerous habit. You’re addicted. Stop it. Get some help!” Patz denied the accusations stating, “I’m doing just fine, over one million this month!”

A judge saw Patz in a Tampa courtroom Thursday afternoon and released him on $10,000 bond, according to a spokeswoman for the FBI. The court forced him to surrender his passport and ordered him to stay within the Florida, New York City, and Northern California areas. They instructed him not to gamble and to stay off Instagram and Twitter.