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Las Vegas sports gambler Walters convicted of insider trading

Las Vegas sports gambler Walters convicted of insider trading

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.

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.

"To say that I was surprised would be the understatement of my life", Walters said as he left the courtroom. "If I had made a bet on this I would have lost. Frankly I'm in shock".

"Armed with his illegal edge, Walters made huge, perfectly-timed trades, at times accounting for over a third of the trading volume in Dean Foods stock", AUSA Kim said in a statement. Mickelson never testified though he had been on a list of prospective witnesses. In openings, attorney Barry Berke said Davis was lying about Walters to keep himself out of prison.

Walters, 70, has built a sprawling business of auto dealerships, vehicle rental agencies and golf courses worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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.

More news: Daniel Cormier to finally defend light-heavyweight title after 17 months

Closing arguments over two days capped a three-week trial and enabled jurors to begin deliberations in late afternoon.

Berke said he would leave no doubt among jurors that Davis had lied repeatedly. Davis, 68, pleaded guilty to a dozen separate crimes and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in a bid for leniency when he's sentenced.

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".

And we really fell in love with this case when Walters and his lawyers invented a whole new strategy for defense against insider trading charges: Claiming that you just mimicked Carl Icahn.

Davis said he fed secrets about Dean Foods to Walters so that he could make profitable trades and that he hoped to get some tips about business and gambling in return.

In an agreement with the Security and Exchange Commission, Mickelson agreed to repay the trading profits.

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