Gambler tied to Phil Mickelson convicted of insider trading

Posted April 08, 2017

Walters, whose risky bets earned him the title of the "most unsafe sports bettor in Nevada", was convicted of insider trading charges Friday, a federal prosecutor in Manhattan said.

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel ordered home detention for Walters and no more use of his corporate plane while he awaits sentencing on July 14.

Walters, 70, was convicted on 10 accounts of fraud and conspiracy for making approximately $43 million over six years off stock tips received from Tom C. Davis, the former chairman of Dean Foods Co.

"I just lost the biggest bet of my life", William "Billy" Walters said outside Manhattan federal court minutes after the jury returned its verdict after two days of deliberations.

Prosecutors said that from 2008 to 2014, Walters generated $32 million of profit and avoided $11 million of losses by trading on inside information about Dean Foods from Davis.

Dean Foods is the company behind Land O'Lakes, Horizon and other major supermarket brands.

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Brooke Cucinella urged jurors to believe Davis' testimony that he tipped Walters off, saying phone and trading records connected the dots. Their codename for Dean Foods was the Dallas Cowboys. The testimony featured golfer Phil Mickelson and billionaire investor Carl Icahn, as well as a seamy world of gambling debts, stock tips delivered on burner phones and charity money used for prostitutes.

If he had traded those shares with the rest of the public, Walters would have lost $7 million.

Walters made headlines past 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.

Celebrity golfer Phil Mickelson had been an uncharged beneficiary to the scheme.

Barry Berke, Walters's lawyer, said he will appeal.

Already convicted in the case, Davis was the government's star witness at the three-week trial. But the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Mickelson in a civil lawsuit of making almost $1 million in the stock trade.