As all Presidents do, a list of pardons comes out in the last few days of tenure, and this morning was no different for President Trump. On Wednesday, Trump granted clemency to 143 people on his last day of office, including names like Steve Bannon, Lil Wayne, and others.
He also pardoned two big names in the sports betting industry like Billy Walters and Casey Urlacher. Walters was one of 70 people commuted, allowing him to have a reduced sentence for the crime he committed.
Casey Urlacher, brother of Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher, was indicted on federal charges of an offshore gambling ring in February. Walters was finishing out a five-year sentence for insider trading, the same trouble PGA golfer Phil Mickelson found himself in trouble for.
Now, Urlacher and Walters will walk away free men thanks to Trump’s pardon.
Casey Urlacher received his Presidential Pardon with less than 12 hours remaining in the Trump Presidency. “This pardon is supported by his friends and family, and countless members of his community. Mr. Urlacher has been charged with conspiracy to engage in illegal gambling,” in a statement said by the White House.
Urlacher’s case was still pending, but the brother of the former Chicago Bears legend faced federal charges of up to 10 years in prison due to bringing in millions of dollars in an offshore gambling ring. In an unprecedented fashion, Trump pardoned Urlacher as pardons are usually gifted after somebody is sentenced for a committed crime.
Urlacher was involved with Uncle Mick Sports’s multiple people, an offshore betting site located in Costa Rica. Urlacher helped sports bettors move money between themselves and the site and was indicted on two charges facing five years of prison in February 2020.
That March, Brian Urlacher met with President Trump, according to media reports. There is no word on whether there was a discussion of pardoning Brian’s brother. Casey Urlacher was the only person pardoned amongst the several people indicted involved with the gambling ring.
Billy Walters Commuted
In 2017, sports betting legend Billy Walters was found guilty of insider trading and was sentenced to five years in prison. When the coronavirus pandemic exploded in the U.S. in March, Walters was released from prison and required to finish up his sentence at home. Walters was forced to pay back over $40 million in insider trading charges from Dean Foods’s gains.
On Wednesday, Trump commuted Walters expunging the remaining year and a half of his sentence. Although his record will not be wiped clean, Walters is free from his sentence. PGA golfers Phil Mickelson and Butch Harmon helped Walters receive the commutation. Mickelson was also investigated for insider trading charges but never received punishment.
During Walters’ trial, Mickelson’s name was mentioned over 100 times in the insider trading investigation. The PGA golfer pleaded the fifth and avoided going to trial. However, Mickelson was forced to pay over $1 million to the Security & Exchange Commission for Walters’ involvement.
Walters has continuously pleaded his innocence even after being found of insider trading. Today, he gets to walk out of his house a free man.