Phil Mickelson likely not guilty of insider trading

Phil-Mickelson-Claret-JugA bombshell report that was published by the New York Post and other media outlets recently indicated that Phil Mickelson was at the center of an ongoing FBI investigation into a possible insider trading scheme. The New York Times, which also ran the original Mickelson story, admitted on Wednesday night that Mickelson’s role in the investigation has been “overstated.”

Mickelson was originally believed to be tied to the investigation through his alleged relationship with Las Vegas sports gambling guru Billy Walters. Initial speculation was that billionaire investor Carl Icahn may have tipped off Walters when he made a $10 billion offer to buy Clorox Inc. in 2011, causing the company’s stock to skyrocket. Mickelson would have then gotten the information from Walters.

However, the Times now claims Mickelson did not trade in his shares of Clorox at the time Icahn was preparing his massive bid. The government is reportedly seeking information from Mickelson regarding Walters, but he has been informed that there are no plans to criminally charge him.

The new details, provided in the interviews with the people briefed on the matter, indicate that Mr. Mickelson’s ties to the investigation are weaker than previously reported. The details may also raise questions about the government’s decision to deploy what appear to be unusually aggressive tactics in the investigation, particularly when the F.B.I. agents publicly approached Mr. Mickelson even though he is known to have a lawyer and a sports agent.

Mickelson, who has maintained that he has done nothing wrong, was approached by FBI agents after he finished a round at The Memorial Tournament in Ohio late last month. Several former federal prosecutors who spoke with the Times speculated that the government officials may have been aiming to embarrass Mickelson so he would be more inclined to cooperate against Walters.

While it appears Mickelson will not be charged with anything in relation to the Clorox trading situation, he may not be completely out of the woods. Investigators are still reportedly looking at separate trades he and Walters made in Dean Foods in 2012.

Mickelson is attempting to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the US Open this weekend. He has finished second in the event six times during his career.

DeSean Jackson accuses Drew Rosenhaus of bribing him with Louis Vuitton bag of cash

DeSean JacksonDeSean Jackson and Drew Rosenhaus are engaged in a legal dispute over money the wide receiver allegedly owes his former agent, and Jackson has gotten dirty to avoid paying the money.

Jackson was ordered in April to pay Rosenhaus over $500,000 to settle a debt based on money he borrowed from the agent around the time of the NFL lockout and earlier. The two parted ways in 2013, with Jackson hiring Joel Segal as a replacement. Rosenhaus sued him to get his money back.

Rather than pay up as an arbitrator ordered, Jackson has brought out all the stops and is now accusing Rosenhaus of illegal behavior in order to avoid paying him the money.

According to TMZ Sports, Jackson filed paperwork accusing Rosenhaus of breaking NFLPA rules by giving him tons of cash and a Louis Vuitton bag in order to convince the wide receiver to sign with his agency in 2009 (some of the cash was delivered in the bag, Jackson says). Apparently the NFLPA punishment would mean Jackson would not have to repay (pay back?) Rosenhaus the money.

Rosenhaus has a roster full of clients that include some of the best athletes in professional sports. You really think he stocks up like that playing by the rules? If you read all the confessions of Josh Luchs, then you already know it’s just part of the business. Things apparently are no different for Rosenhaus.

Dan Marino withdraws concussion lawsuit over backlash?

Dan MarinoLess than 24 hours after it was reported that Dan Marino joined 14 other former NFL players in suing the league over concussions, the former Miami Dolphins quarterback announced that he was withdrawing his name from the suit. But it gets even better than that: Marino’s lawyers are saying they will investigate to figure out how their client’s name was included in the suit in the first place!

“It was never Marino’s intention to initiate litigation in this case, but to ensure that in the event he had adverse health consequences down the road, he would be covered with health benefits. They are working to correct the error,” a source said to the Sun-Sentinel.

If you’re a regular reader of LBS, then there’s no way you’re buying that excuse, because you can surely see the B.S. dripping from that statement. The real likely explanation for him doing the about-face is that he was surprised to receive so much backlash and is caving under public pressure.

The Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero says Marino was not expecting the backlash and the questions he received regarding the timing of the suit; Marino recently was let go by CBS’ NFL coverage and is looking for a job with the Dolphins. He is hoping the suit wouldn’t cloud his future with the team.

Now that all makes much more sense. When we first learned about the lawsuit, our initial reaction was to think that there was some convenient timing behind the suit since he’s no longer with CBS. It seems like that was the case.

But if you believe the statement from the lawyers, then you need to understand that the settlement being negotiated with the league is for all people who file a claim against the league. Marino reported two concussions during his career and would want to be medically covered for the future.

Ex-lover/employee Maiko Maya King suing Donald Sterling

Maiko Maya King

Maiko Maya King, an ex-employee and lover/girlfriend of Donald Sterling, is suing her former boss claiming that he fired her after she rejected his racist and sexist taunts.

Despite being married with two children when she met Sterling in 2005, King supposedly was in a romantic relationship with the longtime Clippers owner from 2005-2011. Sterling supported her financially as she worked for his foundation. Two years after they broke up, she began working for Sterling as a personal assistant before she says she was fired.

King alleges that Sterling made multiple racist comments to her, which led her to end their relationship. Here’s a sampling of those alleged remarks:

– “How could you be married to a black man?”

– “Why would you bring black people into the world?”

– “I want to take you out of the black world and put you into the white world”; when they would fight he told her to “move back to the ghetto with a black man.”

– “Black people do not take care of their children. All they do is sit at home and smoke dope.”

– “Mexicans just do drive-by shootings.”

Even though King broke off their relationship in 2011, she kept in contact with Sterling and reached out to him after her father died in 2013. She says they met in person and Sterling offered her a job working in marketing for the Clippers. He later changed the job offer in Dec. 2013 and offered King a position as his personal caretaker/assistant. He told her she would be paid $10,000 a month, given a car and home, and receive a $100,000 bonus if she showed loyalty to him.

Of course, if an offer like that sounds like it has strings attached, this certainly did.

[Read more...]

Dan Marino sues NFL over concussions

Dan MarinoDan Marino is the latest former NFL player to sue the league over concussions.

The LA Times reported Monday that Marino and 14 others sued the league last week in District Court in Philadelphia.

The process of former players suing the league has been going on for quite some — and somewhat quietly — but there are around 5,000 former players who have joined suits against the league, including over 40 Hall of Famers.

This specific suit is very similar to the others in that the players are accusing the NFL of concealing information about football-related brain injuries and misled players.

The NFL proposed a $765-million settlement, but a judge rejected it feeling that amount was not great enough.

Marino is one of the biggest names to join the lawsuit. It’s also surprising to see him be a part of it for a few reasons. He has been a broadcaster for CBS for several years and even acted in movies and commercials and never seemed to exhibit signs of head trauma unlike some other ex-QBs, and you probably wouldn’t have thought Marino would feel the need to go this avenue for money. But if he feels like the NFL did him wrong, then that’s enough reason to join the suit.

Report: FBI investigating Phil Mickelson for possible insider trading

Phil-Mickelson-Claret-JugPhil Mickelson is reportedly at the center of a federal investigation into a possible insider trading scheme. According to the New York Post, Mickelson may have taken part in illegal trading based on nonpublic information from billionaire investor Carl Icahn and Las Vegas sports gambling guru Billy Walters.

The investigation is said to have started in 2011, when Icahn made a $10 billion offer to purchase Clorox. Investigators say Icahn’s offer caused Clorox stock to skyrocket and that he may have tipped off Walters — who passed the information along to Mickelson — ahead of time. Investigators are in the process of trying to determine if Mickelson’s and Walters’ trading habits indicate they profited from the spike in Clorox stock caused by Icahn’s offer.

Mickelson acknowledged that he has spoken to government officials but maintained he has done nothing illegal.

“I have done absolutely nothing wrong,” the reining Open Championship winner said. “I have cooperated with the government in this investigation and will continue to do so. I wish I could fully discuss this matter, but under the current circumstances, it’s just not possible.”

Icahn claimed to have no knowledge of any ongoing investigation.

“We don’t know of any investigation,” the 78-year-old told The Post. “Further, we are always very careful to observe all legal requirements in all of our actions,” Icahn said. “I’m very proud of my record and I’ve never given out insider information. I’m very careful. That’s why I have an unblemished record.”

Despite Mickelson’s admission that he has cooperated with investigators, his lawyer Glenn Coehn told The Wall Street Journal that Mickelson is “not the target of any investigation, period.”

Sources also told The Post that investigators approached Mickelson during the first round of the Memorial Tournament on Thursday. Mickelson started his round on fire and was 5-under after 15 holes. He finished with a bogey on 16 and double bogeys and 17 and 18.

Donald Sterling’s lawyer says Sterling will ‘fight to the bloody end’ to keep Clippers

Donald SterlingLos Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has remained relatively quiet since the NBA banned him for life, and many have interpreted that to mean he is ready to sell his team and move on. Not so fast, says Sterling’s lawyer Max Blecher.

On Tuesday, Blecher told ESPN that Sterling’s group is prepared to “fight to the bloody end” to keep the team. He also said any reports about Donald agreeing to let his wife Shelly negotiate a sale of the Clippers are untrue.

“I don’t know what agreement she has with him, but I’m saying to you today, he disavows anything she’s doing to sell the team,” Blecher said. “He says, ‘It’s my team, and I’ll sell it when and if I get around to it.'”

Blecher said that Sterling was in a “state of shock” at first but is now feeling much more “feisty.” We all know the 80-year-old loves fighting legal battles, so it would be stunning if he simply stepped aside and sold the team like the NBA is hoping he will do.

“I believe what they’ve done is illegal and it will not hold up in court,” Blecher added. “I believe what they’re doing is a blatant invasion of his constitutional rights because they’re using a tape recording that he did not consent to, and under California law, that recording cannot be used for any purpose, for any proceeding.

“So if the basis of their case is illegal evidence, they don’t have much of a case. … The whole thing is a pile of garbage.”

Despite Blecher’s insistence that Sterling has changed his stance, Shelly is still reportedly moving quickly to sell the team. A group reportedly made an offer of $2.5 billion to buy the Clippers on Tuesday. Shelly Sterling has retained Bank of America to help her with the sale and has supposedly received at least six offers.