California Man Pleads Guilty To Sending Death Threats To Dozens Of Professional And College Athletes

Defendant posted threats to at least 45 Instagram accounts of athletes

BOSTON – A former college soccer player pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to sending death threats to at least 45 professional and collegiate athletes between July and December 2017.

Addison Choi, 23, of Fullerton, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a threat to injure the person of another. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for Nov. 1, 2019. Choi was charged in May 2019.

In 2017 Choi attended college in Wellesley where he played varsity soccer. He also gambled prolifically on sports, both professional and collegiate, and he lost more than he won. When the players or teams that he bet on performed poorly, Choi used Instagram to send them death threats. For example, on July 27, 2017, Choi posted on one professional athlete’s Instagram account: “I will kill you and your family and f****** hang them on a tree you stupid ugly mother*****” and also “I hope you f****** die you stupid monkey n*****.” On the same day, Choi posted on another athlete’s Instagram account: “I’ll find your f****** family and skin them alive you stupid f***, I hope you never play again.” Choi also posted threats on the accounts of athletes’ loved ones.

In another instance, Choi posted on the Instagram page of a professional athlete’s girlfriend, “You stupid mother***** [name], you worthless f***. I will f****** kill you,” and “I will f****** kill [name] you dumb f****** bitch… leave that irrelevant stupid mother*****.” 

Between July 2017 and December 2017, Choi allegedly posted threats to at least 45 different Instagram accounts, with multiple threats to each account and often multiple targets per threat.

Choi faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott L. Garland, of Lelling’s Civil Rights Enforcement Team, and Gregory J. Dorchak, of Lelling’s Civil Rights Unit, are prosecuting the case.


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