Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters found guilty in insider-trading case involving Phil Mickelson

April 07, 2017

Shortly after Phil Mickelson teed off at the Masters on Friday, one of his golf buddies, Billy Walters, was found guilty of insider trading. Bloomberg News reported the ruling in the case that involved Phil Mickelson as a "relief defendant," although the five-time major champ never made an appearance in court.

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. The well-known Las Vegas gambler potentially faces years of jail time.

"If I would have made a bet I would have lost," Walters told reporters as he left court. "I just did lose the biggest bet of my life. Frankly I’m in shock."

Mickelson made nearly $1 million from trading Dean Foods Co. stock, but he was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Securities and Exchange Commission last May. Mickelson paid back the money he made off the trades.

Last month Mickelson said he wouldn't be a part of the trial. Bloomberg reported that Mickelson would have invoked his Fifth Amendment rights had he been called to the stand.

Although Mickelson didn't appear in court, his name came up often during jury selection. Court documents also showed that he paid off a $1.95 million gambling debt to Walters in Sept. of 2012, a few months after profiting from his stock trades in question.

"I haven't even thought about it," Mickelson told the Associated Press during the WGC-Match Play. "I don't think I'm going to say any more."