A prolific sports bettor who’s earned more than $1 million wagering on games faces a federal charge in Florida for allegedly sending violent threats to New England Patriots players and a host of other pro athletes and their relatives, according to prosecutors and legal filings.
Benjamin Tucker Patz, 23, of New York, N.Y., also known as “Parlay Patz,” is charged in the Middle District of Florida with one count of transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce, said US Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez’s office in a statement.
Patz’s lawyer didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.
A criminal complaint filed in the case on Feb. 24 says two Patriots players, identified only as J.E. And R.G., were on the receiving end of his alleged threats on Feb. 3, 2019, the same day the Pats defeated the Rams in the Super Bowl. Patz had bet on the Rams.
To J.E., Patz allegedly wrote via Instagram, “ILL RAPE AND MURDER YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY,” the complaint says. Patz also allegedly sent Instagram messages to R.G. That said “I WILL BRUTALLY RAPE AND MURDER YOUR FAMILY” and “I WILL ENTER YOUR HOME WHILE YOU SLEEP AND SEVER YOUR NECK OPEN WITH A DULL KNIFE,” the filing says.
It wasn’t immediately clear when Patz will make his initial appearance in federal court in Tampa.
Lopez’s office provided additional details about the allegations in the statement.
He allegedly made “numerous threats to carry out violence against professional athletes and/or their family members via Instagram messages, using anonymous accounts,” the release said. " ... Some of Patz’s threats also contained derogatory terms and racial slurs directed at those individuals."
Patz faces a maximum prison term of five years if convicted, according to prosecutors.
Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.Andersen@globe.Com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.