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Billy Walters Sentenced to 5 Years

by Glenn Baird - July 30, 2017

Infamous professional gambler, Billy Walters was sentenced to five years in prison and fined ten million dollars for his involvement in an insider trading in a case involving Deans Foods.

In April this year the 71 year old was convicted by the U.S. District Court for illegal trading over a period of six years, from 2008 to 2016. During this time it is estimated that Walters made more than $43 million through trades involving Deans Foods, thanks to insider information given to him from Tom Davis, the former chairman of the company.

Walters was found guilty of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy fraud with US District Judge P. Kevin Castel branding him “a cheater and a criminal, and not a very clever one.”

Walters’ operation, described as “simply amateurish” by Castel, was apparently so brazen and ill-conceived that the paper trail left by him and Davis led authorities straight to the two men. Castel went on to say that Walters was “fixated on appearing to himself and others to be a winner,” and for him, “Money was a way of keeping score.”
Walters is considered to be one of the most successful sports bettors in US history, with earnings that are estimated to exceed 100 million dollars. It is reported that at one time Walters owned seven homes and a $20 million private jet. He became so successful that many Las Vegas bookmakers refused to accept his wagers because he won so often.

Walters’ defence team tried to have his sentence reduced to one year, claiming that the gambler was in ill-health. This was disproved by the prosecution who found evidence to show that Walters had been playing golf regularly, arguing that, “Since Walters’ age and health concerns are not so serious as to keep him off the links, they should not provide a basis to keep him out of jail.”

US golfer, Phil Mickelson has also been implicated in dealings with Walters, but avoided any jail time by agreeing to repay just over $1 million in profit and interest made through trades that were advised by Walters. Mickelson was not mentioned during the case.

Joon H. Kim, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said when he announced Walters’ sentence that:

“Making millions in the stock market with a deck stacked in your favour leads to time in a federal penitentiary.”

Walters’ sentence will commence on the 10th of October, although there is likely to be an appeal launched prior to that date.