One of the most successful sports bettors in the history of sports betting will not be getting his five-year prison sentence cut short.
Billy Walters, who built an estimated fortune of about $200 million almost exclusively from his career as a professional gambler, was convicted of insider trading in early 2017. He was sentenced to five years behind bars and a $10 million fine.
A federal judge in Manhattan dismissed Walters’ appeal to have his sentence cut short and his case thrown out Monday.
During a six-year period between 2008-2014, Walters bought shares of Dean Foods Company based on information from former Chairman Thomas Dean that wasn’t public knowledge. Davis gave Walters inside information on a partnership with Darden Restaurants that led to the company netting $43 million during that time frame.
Walters was forced to forfeit the $25 million he made based on that information.
The legendary gambler claimed that the case should be thrown out because prosecutors leaked facts about the case to the public. His legal team argued that the leaks caused Davis to cooperate with authorities and amounted to ‘prosecutorial misconduct,’ according to a Reuters report.
The federal judge disagreed and said that there was no evidence to believe that the leaks impacted the grand jury in any way. The judge said that this was ‘sheer speculation’ by Walters.
In a 2018 interview with ESPN, Walters blamed professional golfer Phil Mickelson for his conviction.
“Here is a guy [Mickelson] that all he had to do was come forward and tell the truth,” Walters said to ESPN. “That’s all he had to do. The guy wouldn’t do that because he was concerned about his image. He was concerned about his endorsements.”
Mickelson allegedly had a $2 million gambling debt to Walters. As a way to help him repay that debt, Walters gave Mickelson the same insider information, which led to Mickelson profiting to the tune of seven-figures.
In 2016, Mickelson forfeited $1.03 million of what he made on that information to settle a civil case with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Walters will finish out his sentence in a minimum-security prison in Florida. He is scheduled for release on February 14, 2022.