Report: Phil Mickelson millions tied to money laundering and illegal gambling case

matthew-cohen
Subscriber

Matt Cohen | Site Editor

A 56-year-old former sports gambling handicapper, acting as a conduit for a gambling operation, pleaded guilty last week to laundering approximately $2.75 million of Phil Mickelson’s money.

Phil Mickelson concentrates after hitting from the No. 4 tee during Friday's second round at the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.

ESPN’s Outside the Lines reported Monday that nearly $3 million transferred from golfer Phil Mickelson to an intermediary was part of “an illegal gambling operation which accepted and placed bets on sporting events.”

Mickelson, a five-time major winner and one of the PGA Tour’s wealthiest and most popular players, has not been charged with a crime and is not under federal investigation.

Last week, 56-year-old Gregory Silveira, a former sports gambling handicapper who acted as a conduit for an offshore gambling operation, pleaded guilty to laundering approximately $2.75 million of money that two sources told OTL belonged to Mickelson. Silveira reached an agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering of funds from an unnamed “gambling client” of his between February 2010 and February 2013.

Sources familiar with the case said Mickelson, who was not named in court documents, is the unnamed “gambling client.” Silveira is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 5 and faces up to 60 years in prison, though the sentence will likely be far shorter.

Mickelson, 45, has not commented on the report, nor has his longtime personal attorney, Glenn Cohen. Lefty has earned more than $77 million over his three decades on the PGA Tour.

According to court documents, in March 2010, Silveira – a participant in “an illegal gambling operation which accepted and placed bets on sporting events” – accepted a wire transfer of $2.75 million, which he knew was part of “illegal sports betting.” The money, according to the documents, came from a “gambling client” and had been transferred into Silveira’s Wells Fargo Bank account. Three days later, Silveira transferred $2.475 million and then $275,000 into another of his Wells Fargo accounts. The next day, Silveira transferred the $2.475 million to another account he controlled at JPMorgan Chase Bank.

Last year, Mickelson’s name appeared in a Wall Street Journal report regarding billionaire Carl Icahn and William “Billy” Walters, a Las Vegas bettor, and their involvement in an FBI and Securities and Exchange investigation of insider trading that occurred in 2011 and ’12. Mickelson has been cleared in one of the alleged instances of insider trading, and it’s unclear whether federal authorities are still investigating well-timed trades of another stock.

Read the full report here.

Information from ESPN.com was used in this report