Famed sports bettor gains freedom near end of 5-year sentence on insider-trading case that involved Phil Mickelson
Freed: Billy Walters, the infamous sports gambler who was imprisoned in 2017 after an insider-trading scheme that exposed his ties to PGA Tour star Phil Mickelson, was one of 144 criminals who received clemency from outgoing President Donald Trump. Walters had been sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10 million after his role in the use of non-public information for the sale of Dean Foods Co. stock. Mickelson, who reportedly owed $2 million in gambling debt to Walters, was questioned by investigators regarding his involvement with Walters but ultimately was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. However, Mickelson paid back nearly $1 million plus interest from ill-gotten gains from sale of the stock and was classified as a relief defendant. Mickelson maintained his innocence throughout the investigation and was not charged with a crime. Walters was released from prison in May as COVID-19 spread and was serving the rest of his sentence under home confinement. He had a little less than one year remaining on his sentence. Las Vegas media reported that Walters' commutation was supported by such golf figures as instructor Butch Harmon, TV analysts David Feherty and Peter Jacobsen and numerous professional golfers, including Mickelson.
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