The author of a soon-to-be released book contends golfer Phil Mickelson laundered money through a stockbroker to pay his gambling debts but wound up escaping prosecution.
Author Billy Walters wrote in "Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk," that Mickelson turned to stockbroker Gregory Silveira to assist with the transfer. The excerpt was released Thursday on Fire Pit Collective.
"Mickelson wanted to transfer several million dollars to Silveira and then have Silveira wire it from his personal bank account to the offshore book to pay off Phil's gambling losses. Unfortunately for Silveira, he said yes. The wire transfer quickly caught the attention of the criminal division of the IRS," Walters wrote.
But Walters, a sports bettor, wrote that Mickelson tapped into the powerful people he knew, including Washington, D.C., attorney Gregory Craig. Craig had all the right connections and friends, including former U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch and the director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Walters went to prison in 2017 following a conviction on 10 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud related to "ill-gotten gains" trading Dean Foods stock. Walters shared insider information around some of those trades with Mickelson, who made multiple stock transactions that earned him $931,000 and was forced by the SEC to repay $1 million.
"With Mickelson in the midst of a money-laundering investigation and a target of an insider-trading investigation, what did super-lawyer Craig do to get the prosecutors off Phil's back? He performed a legal trick so improbable that it was like Harry Houdini pulling a rabbit out of a hat while in chains underwater."
Mickelson wound up settling the case without admitting or denying the allegations.
"Phil was off the hook on the money-laundering case," Walters wrote. "The only person who ended up looking guilty was me."
This is the second bombshell excerpt from the book, which will be released Tuesday.
Last week, it was revealed that Walters wrote Mickelson, a six-time major winner, had bet $1 billion on sports over 30 years and that he wanted to place a $400,000 bet on Tiger Woods at the Ryder Cup but was dissuaded from doing so..
Last week Mickelson, 53, released a statement to Golf Digest regarding some of Walters' allegations but has to comment on the latest release.
"I never bet on the Ryder Cup. While it is well known that I always enjoy a friendly wager on the course, I would never undermine the integrity of the game," he said.
"I have also been very open about my gambling addiction. I have previously conveyed my remorse, took responsibility, have gotten help, have been fully committed to therapy that has positively impacted me and I feel good about where I am now."
—Field Level Media