By Peter Gleason
As they say on the men’s golf tour:
Nearly $3 million transferred from golfer Phil Mickelson to an intermediary was part of “an illegal gambling operation which accepted and placed bets on sporting events,” according to two sources and court documents obtained by “Outside the Lines,” ESPN’s prestigious investigative program.
Mickelson, a five-time major winner and one of the PGA Tour’s wealthiest and most popular players, has not been charged with a crime and is not under federal investigation. But a 56-year-old former sports gambling handicapper, acting as a conduit for an offshore gambling operation, pleaded guilty last week to laundering approximately $2.75 million of money that two sources told Outside the Lines belonged to Mickelson.
Gregory Silveira of La Quinta reached an agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering of funds from an unnamed “gambling client” of his between February 2010 and February 2013. Sources familiar with the case said Mickelson, who was not named in court documents, is the unnamed “gambling client.” Silveira is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 5 before U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips and faces up to 60 years in prison, though the sentence will likely be far shorter.
Mickelson could not be reached for comment. His longtime personal attorney, Glenn Cohen, declined to comment, saying another attorney — whom he would not name — assisted Mickelson in the matter. Silveira could not be reached for comment directly and his attorney declined to comment.