Unnamed sources are alleging that pro-golfer Phil Mickelson received nearly $3 million from an illegal gambling racket. Mickelson is not under investigation, but the sources claim he was alluded to in a recent money-laundering case.
According to ESPN, two sources confirmed that the pro-golfer was part of “an illegal gambling operation which accepted and placed bets on sporting events.”
Former gambling handicapper Gregory Silveira, 56, pleaded guilty last week to laundering $2.75 million from February 2010 to February 2013. The money was from an unnamed “gambling client,” and sources say that client was Phil Mickelson.
The pro-golfer has not been charged with any criminal activities and is not under investigation. The New York Post reports the law is designed to go after the gambling rings, not the gamblers.
Nevertheless, the allegations could end up as a PR nightmare for Mickelson, who has so far declined to comment, along with his attorneys.
Phil Mickelson is a five-time major winner and one of the wealthiest and most popular players in the world of professional golf, but he has had gambling issues in the past.
In 2001, Mickelson was criticized by officials after he was caught betting on the NEC Invitational in the players lounge. He might have received a reprimand, but he also reportedly got $500 from Mike Weir on a long-shot bet that Jim Furyk would make a shot from the bunker.
For Silveira’s case, the money was described as “proceeds,” concealing whether it was winnings or losses for the client. Likewise, the court documents didn’t do much to affirm the sources’ claims except for one small clue that has since been erased.
Silveria’s initial guilty plea came with a reference to “money laundering of funds from P.M.,” and that P.M. is allegedly Phil Mickelson.
On June 17, after ESPN started questioning the initials, U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a motion to amend the plea. The newest version omits the reference.
Mickelson’s wealth is more enough to cover the sizable bets. ESPN reports that he has made $77 million from his three decades on the PGA Tour. Likewise, he receives $40 million yearly from endorsement deals from Callaway, Barclays, KPMG, Exxon Mobil, Rolex, and Amgen.
Still, the wealth hasn’t kept Phil Mickelson from financial crime in the past.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the SEC and FBI started investigating Mickelson for insider trading last year. Phil reportedly received insider information from billionaire Carl Icahn and invested heavily in Clorox Co. right before its shares jumped.
In that situation, Phil Mickelson denied any wrongdoing, but the golfer has yet to respond to the gambling allegations.
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