Phil Mickelson Used Insider Trading to Repay $1.9m Gambling Debt

5-time Majors champion Phil Mickelson is accused of insider trading, and court documents show that he made the trades to repay a $1.9 million gambling debt. The money was owed to famed sports bettor William “Billy” Walters, who’s a successful business man with several golf courses and dozens of car dealerships in his portfolio. The […]

phil-mickelson-golfer5-time Majors champion Phil Mickelson is accused of insider trading, and court documents show that he made the trades to repay a $1.9 million gambling debt.

The money was owed to famed sports bettor William “Billy” Walters, who’s a successful business man with several golf courses and dozens of car dealerships in his portfolio.

The good news for Mickelson is that he hasn’t been charged in the case. But since he and Walters have known each other for decades, often playing golf together, he’s become a focal point of the trial.

Prosecutors allege that Walters had insider knowledge of Dean Foods and passed it along to Mickelson so the latter could repay him $1,950,000. The pro golfer bought 200,000 shares of Dean Foods on back-to-back days in 2012, then sold them a week later for a $930,000 profit.

Mickelson has already worked out a deal where he’ll pay back profits from the transactions with interest in exchange for no jail time.

billy-walters-gamblerAs for Walters, he’s facing multiple counts of securities fraud, although he’s denied any wrongdoing in the matter.

According to FBI agent Paul F. Roberts, Mickelson and Walters were in contact in the days leading up to the Dean Foods purchase. This is especially suspicious when considering that Walters has owned stock in Dean Foods for years, while Mickelson had never owned any up until recent times.

Prosecutors believe that Walters received information from Thomas Davis, a former Dean Foods executive who’s now working with the government as a witness. Walters claims that his information didn’t come from Davis, but rather public knowledge.

As for Mickelson, he’s an available witness for the prosecution, but he hasn’t been called to testify yet. Walters’ lawyers informed the courtroom that Mickelson will use his Fifth Amendment rights if he’s called to the stand.

 

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