Famed Pro Sports Bettor Billy Walters to be Released From Prison

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:

73-year-old professional sports bettor Billy Walters is expected to be released from a federal prison this weekend in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Walters has served more than half of a five-year sentence, which was handed down in July 2017, at the Federal Prison Camp in Pensacola, Florida.

The businessman was accused of collecting tens of millions of dollars illegally in the stock market to seem like "a winner" to himself and others.

"When it comes to the stock market, Billy Walters is a cheater and a criminal and not a very clever one," U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel said at the time of the sentence, calling the crime "amateurishly simple."

The government said golfer Phil Mickelson earned nearly $1 million after Walters told him to buy Dean Foods stock in 2012 -- profits Mickelson gave Walters to cover gambling debts. The Securities and Exchange Commission cited Mickelson for the trades in a lawsuit, and Mickelson agreed to repay the money. Mickelson was not charged.

Castel noted "large and splashy displays of philanthropy" by Walters -- some likely funded by his crimes -- and said he credited him for quiet, under-the-radar gifts that "say something about the man's character.

Walters is expected to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement in San Diego.  That sentence is due to expire January 10, 2022.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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