Phil Mickelson Blamed for Infamous Gambler Billy Walters Prison Sentence3 years ago
Billy Walters, the infamous Las Vegas sports bettor who jailed for 5 years last July has blamed Phil Mickelson for his predicament, claiming the golfer – who owed Walters $2million – should have come forward and told the truth at his trial.
Walters told ESPN in an interview published this week:
“Here is a guy (Phil Mickelson) that all he had to do was come forward and tell the truth. That was all he had to do. The guy wouldn’t do that because he was concerned about his image. He was concerned about his endorsements.”
As reported by PokerTube last summer, Walters was jailed for 5 years for his role in an insider trading scheme which made him over $43million, and which involved the likes of Phil Mickelson and Carl Icahn.
The 72-year old legend of the sportsbetting scene was described by the judge at his trial as "a cheater and a criminal, and not a very clever one," and handed a $10million fine as well as the five-year stretch in jail… and ordered to pay back $25million of his ill-gotten gains.
Now serving time in a minimum-security federal prison in Florida, Walters has rounded on golfer Mickelson, who paid back the $1million he made from the insider information, but is reported to have been prepared to ‘plead the fifth’ in order to avoid incriminating himself at Walters trial.
“My god, in the meantime a man’s life is on the line,” Walters said of Mickelson’s decision, also claiming that the FBI didn’t do enough to get the golfer on the stand – despite his name being brought up ‘at least 122 times’ during the trial.
“(I’m) going to go to prison. And you got prosecutors up there during the entire trial, the entire month — all they talked about over and over was me giving my friends insider information. That is all they talked about. And they knew those jurors were all up on the internet reading that stuff about Phil.”
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.
Walters is appealing his jail sentence and his lawyers plan to ask for his conviction to be overturned, or, ‘at the very least, allow for a new trial’ according to ESPN.
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