Phil Mickelson is used to paying off gambling debts, but I’m not sure he’s used to them being this exorbitant.
Mickelson, who was tied to Vegas businessman William “Billy” Walters because of a Dean Foods stock tip he hit on before, apparently also owed Walters a separate $2 million. Walters is on trial right now for securities fraud.
According to transcripts of Thursday’s proceedings, the prosecution told the court that an independent business management firm, if called to testify, would say Mickelson was a client and that “records show that in July 2012 Mickelson owed a debt to William T. Walters, the defendant, related to sports gambling.” The prosecution added that on Sept. 19, 2012, Mickelson “transferred $1,950,000” to Walters.
There was previous speculation that Mickelson hit on the insider trading stock tip with Dean Foods in July 2012 in part to pay back some of the $2 million in debt to Walters, and that is starting to look more plausible. Mickelson later gave the nearly $1 million from the Dean Foods transaction back to the SEC, though, and was not criminally charged.
Mickelson did not say anything when asked on Friday.
Asked Phil for a comment re: report about $2M gambling debt he allegedly paid in 2012. He said simply, "I don't know what else to add."— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) March 31, 2017
None of this is much of a surprise. Mickelson loves to gamble and knows other people who love to gamble. All of this did lead to one of the great tweets of the year, though.