$3.7m of Lefty's funds end up for illegal bets

According to ESPN, left-handed Phil Mickelson is allegedly the unnamed gambling client of Gregory Silveira, who accepted a wire transfer of US$2.75 million and admitted moving the funds into other accounts for the purpose of illegal gambling. Silveir
According to ESPN, left-handed Phil Mickelson is allegedly the unnamed gambling client of Gregory Silveira, who accepted a wire transfer of US$2.75 million and admitted moving the funds into other accounts for the purpose of illegal gambling. Silveira has pleaded guilty and faces sentencing on Oct 5.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

NEW YORK• • About US$2.75 million (S$3.7 million) transferred from five-time Major golf champion Phil Mickelson to an intermediary was laundered in an illegal sports betting operation, ESPN reported on Monday, noting the player has not been charged.

The 45-year-old American, who earlier this month missed his second chance at completing a career Grand Slam by failing to win at the US Open, is not under investigation, according to the sports television network's website report.

The said intermediary, Gregory Silveira, has pleaded guilty to three counts of laundering funds from an unnamed client in March 2010.

He faces an Oct 5 sentencing hearing in the US district court.

Silveira could receive up to 60 years in prison, though a much lighter sentence is likely.

Citing two unnamed sources and court documents, ESPN reported that Mickelson is the unnamed gambling client of Silveira, who accepted a wire transfer of US$2.75 million and admitted moving the funds into other accounts for the purpose of illegal gambling.

The report said that a plea agreement signed last month by Silveira contained a reference to "laundering of funds from P.M.".

But that agreement was removed and replaced the next day with an amended version lacking any "P.M." notation.

Last year, Mickelson's name was part of an insider trading probe that involved famed investor Carl Ichan and sports gambler Billy Walters.

The current world No. 20, who has earned US$1.8 million this year, Mickelson was cleared in the only known investigation in the matter involving insider trading.

The former world No. 2 won the 2004, 2006 and 2010 Masters, the 2005 PGA Championship and the 2013 British Open and is a record six-time runner-up at the US Open, most recently in 2013.

The left-hander makes more than US$40 million in annual sponsorship deals, according to Forbes magazine.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2015, with the headline '$3.7m of Lefty's funds end up for illegal bets'. Print Edition | Subscribe