Billy Walters, a Las Vegas gambler who was convicted in an insider-trading case linked to Phil Mickelson, was among those who had his sentence comm
Billy Walters, a Las Vegas gambler who was convicted in an insider-trading case linked to Phil Mickelson, was among those who had his sentence commuted earlier this week by former President Trump.
The White House said at the time that several people sponsored Walters’ commutation, including Mickelson, swing instructor Butch Harmon and former players David Feherty and Peter Jacobsen. But Mickelson on Thursday denied any role in Walters’ commutation.
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“The press release referencing Phil Mickelson is erroneous,” Mickelson’s attorney Glenn Cohen told ESPN. “The reason we are upset is because it’s untrue.”
Mickelson told ESPN that he did not write a letter on Walter’s behalf.
Walters, 74, was convicted of insider trading in 2017 and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. He had criticized Mickelson for not testifying on his behalf. The golf great was forced to pay back $1 million in supposed “ill-gotten” gains but was never charged in the matter, according to ESPN.
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Walters allegedly gave Mickelson stock tips that allowed Mickelson to pay the gambler back for his own debts. Walters has been adamant about his innocence.
“I have tried to lead a life marked by concern for others and I hope those qualities, along with the government misconduct that led to my wrongful conviction, convinced the White House to grant me clemency,” Walters said in a statement. “I also hope this sends a strong message to law enforcement to refrain from illegal misconduct in pursuing their targets.”
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Trump also pardoned the brother of former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. Casey Urlacher was charged with illegally operating a sports gambling ring. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges and the case never went to trial.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.