Defense attorneys for Las Vegas sports bettor Bill Walters are seeking the dismissal of his indictment on insider-trading charges because at least one FBI agent leaked confidential grand jury and investigative information to the press.
The motion seeking a dismissal and a 73-page memorandum supporting it were filed Friday in the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of New York. In court papers, Walters argues the indictment should be dismissed because of “grave doubts” about whether the government’s “illegal, criminal conduct” played a role in a grand jury’s decision to indict.
If the court doesn’t dismiss the indictment based on the information already available, Walters’ motion asks for an evidentiary hearing and a chance to gather more information to support a dismissal.
“We don’t know precisely what information was illegally leaked, or what information was obtained in exchange for these improper leaks,” court papers say.
If a hearing is needed, Walters’ defense team wants all notes and records about leaks, phone records, voicemails, grand jury minutes and communications about open investigations with reporters at The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
In December, federal prosecutors acknowledged that an FBI agent had divulged confidential information to reporters about the probe. Walters’ lawyers have said the information was leaked to revive a case that had become dormant.
The concerns cited by Walters’ attorneys stemmed from seven stories The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times ran in between May and June 2014 with confidential details about the investigation.
On May 18, the FBI arrested Walters at his Bali Hai Golf Club on allegations that he illegally traded on tips supplied by Thomas Davis, the former chairman of Dean Foods Co. Davis has pleaded guilty and has cooperated with federal prosecutors. The government’s investigation also looked at professional golfer Phil Mickelson, but he isn’t charged in the case.
Walters was released in May on a $1 million bond.
Contact Ben Botkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-384-8710. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.