Report: FBI investigating Phil Mickelson for possible insider trading
Phil 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.