Trump Commutes Billy Walters’ Sentence
Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday, his official last day in the White House, commuted former insider trader and Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters’ sentence. Walters was found guilty and convicted on insider trading charges in 2017, and consequently sentenced to five years in federal prison.
Walters reportedly used information received from a former chairman of dairy processor and distribution giant Dean Foods to buy and sell stocks. According to authorities, he made millions in illegal gains from the illicit information. After serving the bulk of his sentence at a Florida federal prison, Walters was last spring released to serve the remainder of his term at his California home.
Not quite a pardon, a commutation brings about a reduction in sentence. The individual commuted retains the record but is released from the actual sentence handed down.
Great Support For Walter
A statement recently issued by the White House confirmed that the office of the President had received numerous letters of support for Walters, including letters from former Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons, former Clark County Sheriff William Young, and ex-NY City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik.
The White House statement also confirmed that Walters, who is well-known for his philanthropic work, and is also a former Las Vegas Philanthropist of the Year, had at the time of the commute already served 4 years of his sentence, and had also paid $44 million in restitution and fines. The former gambler is considered to have paid his dues, and according to the statement, has a solid reputation in the Las Vegas sports and gaming industry.
Phil Mickelson’s Involvement
The investigation into the Dean Foods insider trades reportedly included certain trades made by pro-golfer Phil Mickelson. The golfer, who is said to have owed money to Walters, made use of the stock tip in order to use the proceeds to settle his debt with the philanthropist.
Mickelson was never charged and only ever got fined $1 million for his involvement in the illegal dealings. He also refused to testify in Walters case, which reportedly became a bone of contention after the philanthropist got convicted of the crime.
Trump during his term issued several pardons and commutations. He pardoned 73 people in total and commuted the sentences of 70 more. Some of those pardoned were originally charged with gambling crimes, including New York Art Dealer and former gambling ring operator Hillel “Helly” Nahmad, and sports betting scheme boss Casey Urlacher. The latter is the brother of former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.