Phil Mickelson’s money was at the heart of a recently concluded federal money laundering case, according to ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines,’ reports Deadspin.
Deadspin reports: “OTL reports on the case of Gregory Silveira, who [pleaded] guilty last week to money laundering charges for moving $2.75 million through multiple bank accounts in an illegal gambling scheme. According to OTL, that $2.75 million was wired to Silveira by Phil Mickelson.”
Writes OTL, “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….”
That ‘gambling client,’ according to OTL, was Phil Mickelson.
Deadspin adds: “Mickelson was not charged in the scheme, nor is he under federal investigation related to it. ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson surmises that Mickelson wasn’t charged because ‘federal gambling laws are directed at gambling enterprises and not at individual bettors.’ Presumably the investigation found that the ‘gambling client’ only transferred the funds, and didn’t collaborate in their attempted concealment, which would’ve drawn charges.”
Writes New York Post columnist George Willis: “It is well-known Mickelson doesn’t mind a good money match on the course and in past years his interest in wagering on NFL games was part of his appeal. It was and continues to be mostly good-natured stuff. But there were also unsubstantiated rumors his move from Titleist to Callaway in 2004 was instigated by Callaway paying off Mickelson’s gambling debts, and there were crazy rumors of Mickelson losing $200,000 during a recent round with members at Augusta National.”
Willis adds, “Mickelson isn’t expected to be charged with a crime. Still, guilt by association is starting to cast a darkening cloud over Mickelson’s image. If Mickelson wants to lose $3 million gambling, it’s his American right to do so. But this association with a money launderer doesn’t feel right for someone whose endorsement deals are largely built around his wholesome image. Mickelson needs to explain why we shouldn’t think the worst.”