Pro golf icon Phil Mickelson is apparently in hot water for involvement in a money laundering scandal, per an ESPN report. An acquaintance of his, former sports betting handicapper Gregory Silveira, pled guilty last week to putting $2.75 million of Mickelson’s money towards illegal sports gambling. According to ESPN, Mickelson is directly responsible for wiring Silveira the sum of nearly $3 million to partake in what Silveira explicitly referred to as “illegal sports betting.”
As far Mick’s legal future, it seems that he’s okay for the moment. He’s not under investigation and has not been charged with a crime.
ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson explained the dynamics as to why Mickelson is off easy with the law — at least for now.
“The handicapper plead guilty in federal court, under federal law. Under federal law, it is only the operators of gambling businesses that can be charged. If you are only a bettor or customer of a sports bookmaking operation, you cannot be charged under federal law. The federal law is aimed at organized crime and syndicated gambling, and so they focus on those who operate the gambling business, and not those who are customers. And for that reason, Mickelson escapes any charges on what we know so far.”
Lefty better take it easy, man. Last year, he was involved in a similarly sketchy federal insider trading investigation with mogul Carl Icahn and renowned sports gambler Billy Walters. According to ESPN, he was cleared of one of his alleged instances of insider trading, but that the rest of the case has mysteriously fizzled out.
Now, he’s picked up right where he left off, getting in some real sticky shit with all the wrong people. We’ll see if this Arizona State alum is able to wiggle his way out of this criminal crisis again, given that his accomplice is now screwed for life. ESPN says that Silveira faces up to 60 years in prison.
With three kids and a smokin’ hot wife, I wish the best for Lefty here. But the guy needs to be a goddamn adult for once and respect the old adage of “don’t shit where you eat.” Mickelson has a reported history of sports gambling, and it looks like golf was involved this time around.
In the early-2000s, when I didn’t know anything about golf, and Mickelson was the little engine that could, always finishing just a hair short of his first major championship, it was impossible for me not to hop on the Lefty bandwagon. His golden boy rosy cheeks, million-dollar smile, and immaculate hair was (and always will be) contagious.
Nowadays, it’s hard for me not to put the guy in the same ilk as Pete Rose and other sketchy athletes. No, he’s not selling drugs or killing innocent people, but it’s pretty clear that he’s behind some pretty twisted stuff he knows he shouldn’t be doing — all while trying to hide behind his lovable-nice-guy-Masters-champion reputation.
I hope I’m wrong. I guess we’ll just have to subtly refresh ESPN at our desks much more frequently with this piping hot developing story..