One of the most successful sports bettors in history could get his five-year prison sentence cut short, per the following report from George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter for KLAS TV 8 I-Team in Las Vegas.
Billy Walters, who built an estimated fortune of about $500 million (including his golf courses, auto dealerships and car-rental agencies) almost exclusively from his career as a professional gambler, was convicted of insider trading in early 2017. He was later given a five-year prison sentence and a $10 million fine.
According to Vegas oddsmakers and Walters himself, he has never had a losing year wagering on football and basketball—which enabled him to buy seven homes and a $20 million jet.
In a 2018 interview with ESPN, Walters blamed professional golfer Phil Mickelson for his conviction.
“Here is a guy (Mickelson) that all he had to do was come forward and tell the truth,” Walters told ESPN. "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."
Noted in the ESPN piece:
Mickelson transferred nearly $2 million to cover his sports gambling debt to Walters on Sept. 19, 2012 -- a month after his big stock win in Dean Foods. Mickelson was spared criminal charges and an embarrassing court appearance, though the Securities and Exchange Commission later identified him as a "relief defendant" in a civil complaint and required repayment of $930,000 in trading profits and $105,000 in interest.
Walters, perhaps the most-feared sports bettor in the history of Las Vegas sportsbooks, was originally scheduled for release on February 14, 2022. It is unknown if his possible early release is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is now 73 years old.
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