Former Mass. soccer player who threatened to kill athletes sentenced to 18 months in prison

WELLESLEY, MASS. (WHDH) - A former Babson College soccer player will spend up to 18 months in prison for sending death threats to dozens of professional and collegiate athletes who he blamed for his gambling losses in 2017.

Addison Choi, 23, of Fullerton, California, was sentenced in federal court in Boston on Friday to 18 months of prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $5,500.

In July, Choi pleaded guilty to one count of transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a threat to injure the person of another.

“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,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “Choi is a perfect example, lobbing violent, racist threats at others who failed to meet his expectations. We will continue to prosecute those who use the Internet to threaten violence.”

Choi attended Babson College in 2017 and gambled prolifically on both professional and collegiate sports. When the players or teams Choi bet on performed poorly, he used Instagram to send them, and their loved ones, death threats.

“In the realm of social media, there were no firewalls to protect the famous from being burned by Addison Choi’s vitriol and the keyboard he weaponized. His victims, sports heroes to many, were threatened with death by Choi for failing to perform to his expectations on their chosen fields of play, all while he lurked in anonymity,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Today’s sentence is meant to teach Choi a lesson, and send a message to others that the FBI takes all acts and threats of violence seriously.”

Between July 2017 and Dec. 2017, Choi threatened 45 different Instagram accounts with multiple threats to each, and often multiple targets per threat.

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