Golf’s Mickelson linked with illegal sports betting

Professional golfer Phil Mickelson has been linked to an illegal sports betting ring after it was claimed that almost $3 million (€2.7 million) was laundered from the player.

According to a report on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, former bet handicapper Gregory Silveira of California agreed to plead guilty on three counts of money laundering that took place between 2010 and 2013.

Silveira, who was working for an offshore gambling organisation, admitted to laundering the money from an unnamed client, said to be US golfer Mickelson.

Court documents state that the ‘gambling client’ transferred two lump sums – $2.5 million and $275,000 – into one of Silveira’s accounts before the money was moved to other accounts owned by the handicapper.

With the exception of the state of Nevada, betting on sports is illegal in the US.

Despite being linked with the illegal betting ring, Mickelson has not been accused of a crime, with experts stating he is unlikely to face charges as federal laws focus on those running the gambling operations, rather than the source of money.

Mickelson was previously fined by the PGA Tour body for gambling and winning considerably smaller amounts on golf events.

He wagered just $25 at odds of 20-1 that fellow golfer Jim Furyk would sink a putt.

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