Bettor who threatened Patriots players in Super Bowl LIII gets home confinement, probation

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A sports bettor who pleaded guilty to making threats against players has avoided prison time. But he’ll be confined to his home for half of a year.

Via David Purdum of ESPN.com, Benjamin Patz a/k/a Parlay Patz received on Thursday a sentence of six months of home detention and 36 months of probation. He pleaded guilty in March to one federal county of transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce.

Patz, 24, is prohibited from engaging in “gambling, wagering, or other activities, either online or in person.”

The criminal complaint filed against Patz last year alleged that he targeted 307 social-media accounts of athletes and family members or significant others. His targets included members of the Patriots.

In 2019, Patz allegedly posted a screenshot of a $10,000 bet on the Rams in Super Bowl LIII. That same day, multiple Patriots players received direct messages on Instagram threatening the “rape” and “murder” of family members.

He also allegedly sent threats via Instagram direct message to Tampa Bay Rays players after a July 2019 game against the Chicago White Sox. The threats included, via Purdum: “I will sever your neck open you pathetic [expletive]”; “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”; “I will cut up your family”; and “Dismember then [sic] alive.”

This kind of thing will only get worse as legalized betting spreads. It’s important that these threats be taken seriously, and that those who make such threats fair proper consequences.