Las Vegas gambler Walters gets five years in prison

Jeff Fogle  

NEW YORK — Billy Walters, a prominent Las Vegas gambler linked to golfer Phil Mickelson, was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison for his role in an insider-trading scheme.

In April, Walters was convicted on all 10 counts he faced, including securities fraud, conspiracy and wire fraud. U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel ordered Walters to pay a $10 million fine to go along with his prison sentence.

 

Castel called Walters "a cheater and a criminal, and not a very clever one." He noted Walters was a minor celebrity in Las Vegas with a private plane, a $17 million West Coast home and $175 million in earnings from 2011 to 2015.

 

From 2008 to 2014, prosecutors argued that Walters made $32 million in profit and avoided another $11 million in losses. Walters stood accused of trading on insider information on Dean Foods Co., which he obtained from former company chairman Thomas Davis. Walters' maneuvers involved a stock tip to Mickelson, who was not charged and did not testify during the trial.

Walters declined comment as he left court. He was told to report to prison Oct. 10.

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