by David Purdum, ESPN
Billy Walters, one of the most successful professional sports bettors ever, filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming an ex-FBI agent leaked confidential information to the media and that federal officials knew about the leaks and didn’t try to stop them during an investigation that led to Walters’s 2017 conviction on insider trading charges.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. Southern District of New York, alleges that in 2014, then-FBI agent David Chaves gave information to reporters for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal about an ongoing investigation into Walters, professional golfer Phil Mickelson, investor Carl Icahn and a series of stock trades involving now-bankrupt Dean Foods.
The lawsuit alleges that the FBI attempted to generate new information about the investigation by leaking stories to the media, while also maintaining a wiretap on Walters’s phone to catch incriminating statements that might’ve been prompted by the news reports, a tactic known as “tickling the wire.” According to the complaint, then-U.S. attorney Preet Bharara, one of six named defendants, and his deputies “took no steps to meaningfully investigate, impede, or remedy the unlawful conduct and prevent the harm caused to Walters.”
During Walters’s trial, Bharara acknowledged the leaks in a letter to the judge.
Rest is here.
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