Convicted Las Vegas gambler Bill Walters is expected to be released from a federal prison this weekend in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a source who is familiar with his case.
Walters, 73, has served more than half of a five-year sentence, which was handed down in July 2017, at the Federal Prison Camp in Pensacola, Florida. He was found guilty after a trial in New York of masterminding a six-year insider trading scheme with former Dean Foods Co. Chairman Tom Davis.
Walters is expected to serve the remainder of his sentence, which is set to expire Jan. 10, 2022, in home confinement in San Diego, according to the source and the Bureau of Prisons inmate information website.
Walters’ vulnerability to the new coronavirus because of his age was part of the reason for his release, the source said.
The conviction of Walters, once considered one of the most successful sports bettors in the country, also included a $10 million fine.
His wagers over four decades had helped him buy seven homes and a $20 million jet.
In December 2018, a federal appeals court dismissed Walters’ appeal of his conviction.
Prosecutors said Walters made more than $40 million illegally trading the stock of Dallas-based Dean Foods after he gave Davis a prepaid throwaway phone so they could discuss inside information without it being traced.
Earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr exercised the CARES Act to facilitate the release of some of the federal prison system’s oldest and most vulnerable inmates.
“The BOP has increased Home Confinement by over 40 percent since March and is continuing to aggressively screen all potential inmates for Home Confinement,” the bureau’s website states.