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Sports Bettor Billy Walters Sentenced To Five Years In Prison Over Insider Trading Scheme

Federal Judge Denies Pleas For Probation


High-stakes sports gambler and Las Vegas businessman Billy Walters was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison and ordered to pay a $10 million fine over insider trading.

The 70-year-old was convicted in April of receiving illegal stock tips from the former chairman of Dean Foods. The jury deliberated for two days after prosecutors laid out their case that Walters reaped more than $40 million from the tips. He was convicted on 10 counts of conspiracy and fraud, and he could have received a sentence that would have put him behind bars for the rest of his life.

The government said the scheme went on for six years. Thanks to his fortune, Walters was called “the most dangerous sports bettor in Nevada” in a 2011 report from CBS.

“Billy Walters is a cheater and a criminal, and not a very clever one,” U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel said, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“The crime was amateurishly simple,” the judge added about the plot which included a so-called “Bat Phone” to facilitate the illegal communications.

Thomas Davis, the former Dean Foods chairman, helped the government convict Walters. He hasn’t been sentenced yet. Davis was in poor financial shape thanks to his gambling and spending habits and needed money, according to prosecutors. Davis’ gambling habit was so bad that he would bet $150,000 on a single hand of blackjack.

Despite being friends, Walters helped him out in exchange for the illegal tips.

Walters’ defense reportedly tried to argue that his health should spare him prison time, but prosecutors pointed out that he traveled to San Diego to play golf three times in the last two weeks.

Despite the evidence against him, there were efforts by some powerful people to spare Walters of any prison time. One of those people to ask the judge to give him leniency was former Nevada Senator Harry Reid. The words were of little help.



Mr. Honest
over 4 years ago

Please, the "honorable" Judge talking shit about how elementary the crime was. The guy made 10s of millions. Not easy to do and I highly doubt the "honorable" judge would want anyone snooping around his past or how he got that position. Just do your job judge and remember you work for the population not the rich and poweful asses you kissed and poles you smoked to get that job.