Las Vegas sports gambler Walters convicted of insider trading

Defense: Case against gambler fails because witness lied

Read 'em and weep, a NY federal jury told professional gambler Billy Walters on Friday after the six-woman, six-man panel convicted him of securities fraud, wire fraud and related conspiracies.

Walters, who didn't testify at the trial in Manhattan federal court, has said he owns seven homes and a $20 million jet.

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel ordered home detention for Walters and no more use of his corporate plane while he awaits sentencing on July 14. "As a unanimous jury swiftly found, Walters received inside information about Dean Foods for years - directly from one of its board members - and illegally traded on it, netting over $43 million".

Walters claimed he made millions in trading on Dean Foods and other stock because of the same intuitive genius and careful research that made him a successful gambler, but prosecutors relied on a former Dean Foods chairman who testified that he gave Walters inside tips.

Walters is charged with earning $40 million by making profits and avoiding losses through tips from Davis. But the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Mickelson in a civil lawsuit of making almost $1 million in the stock trade.

Cucinella said Davis owed Walters almost $1 million at the time from a loan Walters had given him. In openings, attorney Barry Berke said Davis was lying about Walters to keep himself out of prison.

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

Walters, 70, has built a sprawling business of auto dealerships, vehicle rental agencies and golf courses worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He has pleaded guilty to insider trading charges and is likely to receive leniency at sentencing as a result of his testimony. Bloomberg News reported the ruling in the case that involved Phil Mickelson as a "relief defendant", although the five-time major champ never made an appearance in court. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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