Defense: Case against gambler fails because witness lied

Tammy Harvey
April 8, 2017

The prosecution's case in the insider trading trial of prominent sports gambler Billy Walters rises and falls on its star witness, former Dean Foods chair Tom Davis, who lied at least 50 times on the stand, Walters' attorney told a NY federal jury during closing arguments Thursday.

Walters was charged in May after a high-profile probe focused on what prosecutors called his scheme to obtain confidential tips about Dean Foods Co from its chairman, Thomas Davis.

NEW YORK (AP) - A Las Vegas gambler linked to golfer Phil Mickelson says a jury verdict finding him guilty of insider trading charges means he lost the biggest bet of his life.

"Billy Walters lost his bet that he could cheat the securities markets on a massive scale and get away with it scot-free", said Joon Kim, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY.

Before the trial, Mickelson was listed as a possible witness, but he did not testify. Sentencing was set for July.

Walters, whose risky bets earned him the title of the "most unsafe sports bettor in Nevada", was convicted of insider trading charges Friday, a federal prosecutor in Manhattan said.

Barry Berke, Walters' lawyer, said he would appeal.

Prosecutors say Walters had urged Mickelson to buy Dean Foods stock. The golfer agreed to pay back money he made trading Dean Foods stock but has not been accused of wrongdoing.

"The prosecution in this case had some blinders on", he said. Mickelson was not charged.

"You're going to see it".

Prosecutors said that from 2008 to 2014, Walters generated $32 million of profit and avoided $11 million of losses by trading on inside information about Dean Foods from Davis.

He praised his client, saying the Kentucky-born sports gambler had built a sprawling business of auto dealerships, vehicle rental agencies and golf courses worth hundreds of millions of dollars and routinely made multimillion-dollar bets in the stock market.

William "Billy" Walters leaves Manhattan federal court in New York, Friday, April 7, 2017, after he was convicted of insider trading charges.

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