Phil Mickelson, the five-time major winner on the PGA Tour, is said to be the unnamed gambling client that was mentioned in a plea deal taken by Greg Silveira who was charged with money laundering, said multiple sources on Tuesday.

The Phil Mickelson gambling story is gaining some steam.

Silveira in early June reached a plea deal with prosecutors in California to plead guilty to three charges of money laundering that will settle the allegations that he accepted a $2.7 million wire transfer on March 26, 2010 from an anonymous gambling client.

Deeper insight from CBS’ Kyle Porter:

Sources who are said to have knowledge of the legal case, said that the gambling client was Mickelson, who just recently was ranked as one of the world’s highest paid athletes by Forbes. This, from Forbes:

#7 Phil Mickelson

Total earnings: $47.8 million
Salary/winnings: $4.8 million
Endorsements: $43 million

Mickelson was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May, reflecting a stellar career that includes 40 PGA victories (ninth all-time), $66 million in career prize money (second all-time) and four major titles (second-most during the past 20 years). Mickelson earns more than $30 million annually from endorsement partners: Callaway, Barclay’s, KPMG, Exxon, Rolex and Amgen/Pfizer. He picked up a deal to promote psoriatic arthritis drug Enbrel after he was diagnosed with the disease in 2010 and used the drug for his treatment.

Mickelson with his 2013 Claret Jug

Mickelson with his 2013 Claret Jug

Mickelson, 45, does not appear in the plea deal and has not been charged. He is also not under investigation or implicated in any criminal wrongdoing, said sources.
Silveira could face as many as 60 years behind bars, but will likely spend between 10 and 37 years.

A very serious charge, at hand.

In the initial draft of the plea agreement, Silveira is said to have said the wire transfer funds were from a P.M., but that was edited out of the final version at the request of prosecutors.

Sources also said that the case in California does not have any relation to a Joint Securities and Exchange Commission/FBI investigation in New York which is investigating whether Billy Walters, the pro sports gambler, and Mickelson used insider trading info from activist investor Carl Icahn regarding investments.

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Forbes has said that Mickelson earns over $45 million each year from endorsements and appearances. He represents Barclays, KMPG, Callaway, Exxon Mobil, Amgen and Rolex.
Part of the success Mickelson has had off the course stems from not just being amongst the greatest golfers to have played, but factors linked his style, outward appearance and his public persona.

As a pro golfer, the attention he receives on the course tends to help his endorsement earnings. His style of “go for broke” is both daring, charismatic and something every male can identify with. They want to shoot for the skies and hit the game winning shot. That’s what Phil tries to do.

It is reported that Mickelson earned $48 million in 2014 from endorsements, which trailed just Tiger Woods and Roger Federer amongst athletes.