Golf Badboy Phil Mickelson Tied to Illegal Gambling and Money Laundering Operation
Last week, an intermediary for an illegal offshore gambling operation pled guilty to laundering $2.75 million. And according to a report from ESPN’s Outside the Lines, that $2.75 million came from golfer Phil Mickelson.
Gregory Silveira, a former sports gambling handicapper from La Quinta, California, pled guilty to three counts of money laundering of funds obtained from an unnamed “gambling client” between February 2010 and February 2013. Sources familiar with the case say that client is Mickelson.
The implication, obviously, is that Phil Mickelson is placing bets (and losing serious money) through an illegal offshore gambling operation. However, he himself has not been charged with a crime, nor is he currently under investigation.
That said, this does not mean Mickelson is free and clear. The five-time major winner has a well-known if not-often-publicized affinity for gambling on sports. In 2001 he was “reprimanded” (sent a strongly worded letter) by the PGA for winning a friendly ($500) bet from fellow golfer Mike Weir at the NEC Invitational, and multiple sources told Outside the Lines that Mickelson frequently bets on sports in Las Vegas.
The PGA won’t say what their official policies are with respect to gambling. However, given how insanely easy it would be for a single golfer to alter the outcome of a tournament, one would assume they forbid sports gambling altogether in the interest of maintaining the integrity of the game. And if that’s the case, Phil Mickelson could be in trouble here.
Then again, the PGA probably isn’t eager to take serious action against one of it’s biggest draws. So if there’s any way they can avoid doing so, they will.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]