Las Vegas sports gambler Walters convicted of insider trading

Phil Mickelson Paid $2M For His Gambling Habit

Phil Mickelson Paid $2M For His Gambling Habit

"If I had made a bet I would have lost - I just did lose the biggest bet of my life". The well-known Las Vegas gambler potentially faces years of jail time.

Davis, who testified against Walters as part of a plea deal, told jurors he passed tips ahead of Dean Foods' earnings reports and a 2012 spinoff of part of its business, using "burner" phones to relay the information.

Mickelson never was charged because prosecutors couldn't prove he knew that Walters was passing along inside information, but he repaid almost $1 million in profits on Dean Foods trading.

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Walters' lawyer, Berry Burke, said the verdict will be appealed. He parlayed those winnings into businesses that include golf courses, auto dealerships and car-rental agencies with total revenue of $500 million in 2013, his company's controller testified. "And you're going to know it", Berke said.

Jurors found Walters earned some $43 million over six years based on illegal tips from his golfing pal Tom C. Davis, the former chairman of Dean Foods Co.

Closing arguments capped a three-week trial.

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Walters is charged with earning tens of millions of dollars illegally by making profits and avoiding losses through tips from Davis. Davis used the money to pay off a casino debt and for prostitutes, Berke said. Davis, 68, pleaded guilty to a dozen separate crimes and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in a bid for leniency when he's sentenced.

Walters made headlines a year ago when famed golfer Phil Mickelson - who's now competing in The Masters in Georgia - was ordered to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $1 million in fines for profiting off a tip from Walters about Dean Foods.

When asked what evidence convinced them Walters was guilty, one member of the jury, just before getting on an elevator, said, "Everything that was in front of us". Mickelson agreed to repay it.

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As the verdict was returned on 10 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud, Walters shook his head repeatedly.

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