Phil Mickelson's gambler pal convicted: 'I'm in total shock'

Violet Tucker
April 8, 2017

An attorney defending Las Vegas sports gambler William "Billy" Walters against insider trading charges told jurors on Thursday that prosecutors introduced testimony about star golfer Phil Mickelson to cover up the weakness of their case.

Walters was charged in May after a high-profile probe focused on what prosecutors called his scheme to obtain confidential tips about Dean Foods Co from its chairman, Thomas Davis.

A Manhattan federal court revealed that pro golfer Phil Mickelson lost five percent of his $48 million salary in 2012 due to gambling debts owed to professional gambler Billy Walters.

Mickelson was not accused of wrongdoing and did not testify at trial, but he reached an agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2016 to pay back $1.03 million the regulator said he earned trading the dairy company's stock.

U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel set sentencing for July 14 and agreed to prosecution demands that Walters submit to electronic monitoring and give up use of his private plane. His lawyer said the verdict will be appealed.

Walters made headlines previous year when famed golfer Phil Mickelson - who's now competing in The Masters in Georgia - was ordered to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $1 million in fines for profiting off a tip from Walters about Dean Foods.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Mickelson in a civil lawsuit of making almost $1 million in a 2012 stock trade.

Walters is charged with earning $40 million by making profits and avoiding losses through tips from Davis.

Closing arguments capped a three-week trial. "I just did lose the biggest bet of my life", Walters said.

Neither Mickelson nor Icahn faced criminal charges. Berke said he routinely makes multimillion-dollar bets on companies in the stock market.

William "Billy" Walters leaves Manhattan federal court in New York, Friday, April 7, 2017, after he was convicted of insider trading charges.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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