Billy Walters Ordered To Forfeit $25 Million3 years ago
Legendary Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters, who was handed down a 5-year jail term for his leading role in an insider trading scheme which made him over $43million, was this week ordered to pay back $25.4 million of his ill-gotten gains.
The 71-year old was convicted back in April of this year of an “amateurishly simple” crime after trading on illicit tips he got from his golf buddy, former Dean Foods Co. Chairman Tom Davis, in a case which involved golfer Phil Mickelson as well as business mogul Carl Icahn.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel added to Walters’ woes by ordering him to forfeit $25.4million after ‘finding it could be traced to his illegal trades’, according to Bloomberg news, the financial hit coming on top of his jail term and $10million fine after being charged with several related crimes including securities fraud, conspiracy and wire fraud.
Walters had become a legendary figure in the Vegas sportsbetting world, regularly posting yearly profits of $15million+, with a 39-year winning streak up until his first loss in 2013. He is reputed to have won $3.5million on the Superbowl and $1milion during a round of golf among many other massive bets.
He once claimed:
"If you're committed to being a professional gambler, and you want to be the best you can be, you spend every waking moment trying to figure out a way to beat the game.”
However, at his sentencing he was described by the judge as "a cheater and a criminal, and not a very clever one," while Joon H. Kim, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, added that:
"Making millions in the stock market with a deck stacked in your favor leads to time in a federal penitentiary."
Golfer Phil Mickelson was one of those who were unwittingly caught up in the high-profile case, returning the $1million he made from using Walters’ illegal trading tips after being made aware of Walters’ wrongdoing.
Walters’ 5-year sentence, which he is appealing against, is due to begin on October 10th.
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