Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters denies involvement in insider trading

Billy Walters
AP Photo
Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters in 2011.

A Las Vegas gambler being investigated for possible insider trading involving golfer Phil Mickelson and investor Carl Icahn says it's "preposterous to think" he would be involved in any such activity.

Billy Walters issued a statement Monday saying he has never made inside stock market trades.

"I am innocent of doing anything wrong. It's that simple," Walters said. "Those who know me best, know that it is preposterous to think that it would involve myself in inside trading."

A federal official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission are analyzing trades Mickelson and Walters made involving Clorox at the same time Icahn was attempting to take over the company. When Icahn's intent became public, the stock price jumped.

FBI agents approached Mickelson after his opening round last week at the Memorial golf tournament as part of the investigation. Mickelson later said he had done "absolutely nothing wrong."

Walters, a legendary figure in sports betting circles because of the millions he has won betting on games, said all of his dealings in the stock market are legitimate.

"Yes, I have studied and invested in the stock market for many years and no one says anything when I lost money or when I am not successful," he said in the statement. "And certainly that's happened, like it has to many of us."

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