Addison Choi has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after admitting to having threatened 45-odd athletes with murder.
Addison Choi to Serve 18-month Prison Sentence
Notorious sports bettor Addison Choi was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, after he pleaded guilty to several charges of threatening professional athletes with murder. Choi admitted that he had sent threatening texts to a number of college and professional athletes while in College and part of the Babson College soccer team.
Choi was prosecuted for texts he sent between July and December, 2017, when he looked up ‘disappointing’ athletes online and messaged them threats. The young man is a problem gambler who had to borrow money from family and friends.
As Choi’s debts raked up, however, he blamed the athletes who participated in the games he had been losing money on. He first texted players on July 27, 2017 when he wrote: ‘I will kill you and your family and f****** hang them on a tree you stupid ugly mother*****,’ Choi said on the occasion.
Choi, who was based in Massachusetts where sports betting was illegal, prompting the question where he placed his wagers. While no state has investigated and sentences an individual for simply placing a sports wager – regardless of the state of the industry – this fact was also considered in sentencing the young man.
The People vs. Choi
As a result of his misdemeanor and excessive use of violent language, Choi was sentenced to 18 months in prison by US District Court Chief Judge Patti Saris. He was also slapped with a $5,500 fine. He will then have to undergo a year of supervision so that he may be rehabilitated completely.
Choi narrowly dodged a far more serious sentence whereby he would have needed to pay $250,000 and spend up to 27 months in prison. US Attorney Andrew Lelling captured the problem in its essence, highlighting the ease of use of Internet and the fact that many people disconnected themselves from any real consequences:
“The anonymity and ease of internet-based communications has led to a steady decline in civility and a steady increase in internet-based threats and harassment.”
The young man had sent threats to at least 45 athletes threatening them with death. Lelling explained that the behavior displayed by Choi was ‘racist’ and unambiguously violent. This is one of the few cases to actually reach court over abuse.
Many sports bettors have been known to lash out online, but rarely anyone has allowed themselves to reach to the lengths Choi had. Still, Choi’s case is indicative of how such behavior needs to be addressed, especially if it concerns collegiate sports where an irate bettor might choose to translate arguments into physical violence.