Another bombshell Phil Mickelson allegation has emerged from his former gambling associate Billy Walters.
The latest extract from Walters' book centres on claims Mickelson was involved in a previously unknown money-laundering investigation.
In the latest teaser from Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk, Walters claims Mickelson had a stockbroker named Gregory Silveira transfer millions of dollars from his personal bank account to an offshore one to pay off gambling losses.
Silveira said yes, the book alleges, and the transfer caught the attention of the IRS.
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That's where one of his friends at KPMG - Mickelson's now-former sponsor - introduced him to a talented attorney named Gregory Craig.
This is where it gets interesting and Walters claims Craig helped Mickelson escape a world of legal trouble.
"He performed a legal trick so improbable that it was like Harry Houdini pulling a rabbit out of a hat while in chains underwater," Walters wrote.
The latest extract, first published on The Firepit Collective, reads:
"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.
"With the feds on his heels, Phil told me that his friends at KPMG, his main corporate sponsor at the time, had introduced him to a D.C. attorney named Gregory Craig. He was not just any lawyer; Craig had been chief White House counsel for President Obama.
"With boyish looks and trademark white tousled hair, Craig had an Ivy League pedigree, having attended Harvard as an undergrad and Yale Law School. Craig also was tight with Preet Bharara, then the U.S. attorney in the powerful Southern District of New York, former U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch, and the director of enforcement at the SEC. Now that’s political juice.
"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.
"On May 19, 2016 – nearly a year before my trial – the SEC issued a press release headlined 'Pro Golfer Agrees to Repay Trading Profits.' The statement, which was related solely to the Dean Foods case, named Phil as a 'relief defendant,' government-speak for people not accused of any wrongdoing but named in complaints for “purposes of recovering alleged ill-gotten gains in their possession from schemes perpetrated by others.”
"Mickelson neither admitted nor denied the allegations in the SEC’s complaint and agreed to pay full disgorgement of his trading profits totalling $931,738.12 plus interest of $105,291.69.
"It also noted that I had 'urged' Mickelson to trade in Dean Foods stock and he later sold almost $1 million in profits to pay off part of his gambling debt to me.
"''Mickelson will repay the money he made from his trading in Dean Foods because he should not be allowed to profit from Walters's illegal conduct,' the press release stated.
"There was no mention of any money-laundering investigation. Craig chimed in on cue by releasing his own statement claiming that Phil was 'an innocent bystander' to any alleged wrongdoing by others
"Phil and Bharara both got what they wanted. Phil's attorneys issued a statement that made it look like Phil was an innocent victim of an insider-trading case that implicated me. And in the process, Phil was off the hook on the money-laundering case. The only person who ended up looking guilty was me."
The latest claims come a week after it was revealed Mickelson had wagered up to $1bn over three decades, with losses totalling upwards of $100m.
There was an allegation that Mickelson also wanted to bet $400,000 on the United States winning the 2012 Ryder Cup.
Mickelson denied later issued a statement, denying he bet on the Ryder Cup.
"I never bet on the Ryder Cup," he wrote. "While it is well known that I always enjoy a friendly wager on the course, I would never undermine the integrity of the game."
His statement added:
"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."
For context it's important to remember that Walters is a convicted felon. A jury found him guilty of fraud, conspiracy and wire fraud in 2017.
He served five years in prison.
Prosecutors said Walters made $43m from trades of Dean Foods by realising profits and avoiding losses thanks to information he obtained from the company's chairman Tom Davis.
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