| March 22
March 22 A lawyer defending Las Vegas sports
gambler William "Billy" Walters against insider trading charges
on Wednesday sought to discredit former Dean Foods Chairman Tom
Davis, who told jurors he used a special "bat phone" to give
Walters confidential tips.
Lawyer Barry Berke's cross-examination, which began on the
fourth day of trial in Manhattan federal court, sought to
undermine Davis's testimony on topics including his own admitted
history of marital infidelity and soliciting prostitutes.
Davis has pleaded guilty to insider trading charges and is
cooperating with prosecutors.
Prosecutors say Walters was able to make more than $40
million thanks to tips from Davis, and that he passed insider
information on to star golfer Phil Mickelson. Mickelson is not
accused of wrongdoing.
Over the preceding two days, under direct examination by
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brooke Cucinella, Davis told jurors that
over a period of several years he gave Walters valuable
information about Dean Foods, a leading dairy company, including
advance notice of its earnings announcements and its plan to
spin off part of its business in 2012.
Davis said Walters told him to use the code name "the Dallas
Cowboys" for Dean Foods, and use a specially assigned
phone, called the "bat phone," to pass on information.
Under Berke's cross-examination, Davis admitted that he was
aware of no document in which the "Dallas Cowboys" code was
When Berke asked what color the bat phone was, Davis said it
was maroon. But he conceded that he previously described it to
prosecutors as black.
Berke also probed for inconsistencies in Davis's testimony
about his personal life. During direct examination, Davis had
admitted that he had a history of infidelity in his first two
marriages, and that he had paid for sex.
In response to Berke's questioning, Davis confirmed he had
told prosecutors he never paid for sex after marrying his third
wife in 2007.
When Berke presented him with phone records showing later
calls to escort services in several cities, he said he did not
recall them, and that he did not pay for sex.
During the preceding two days of direct examination, Davis
already admitted to stealing from a charity he helped run and
committing tax fraud. He said Walters arranged loans for him
when he was in financial distress, which he never fully repaid.
Davis also said Walters once recommended he invest in a
company on the advice of billionaire investor Carl Icahn. Icahn
has not been accused of wrongdoing.
The case is U.S. v. Davis et al, U.S. District Court,
Southern District of New York, No. 16-cr-00338.
(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Tom