Reports: Mickelson part of insider-trading probe


The FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Phil Mickelson for possible insider trading, according to two separate reports in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times late Friday.

According to the WSJ report, authorities are “examining a series of well-timed trades” involving Mickelson, high-profile Las Vegas gambler William "Billy" Walters and investor Carl Icahn that include two separate stocks.

Neither Mickelson, Walters nor Icahn has been accused of any wrongdoing.

“I have done absolutely nothing wrong. I have cooperated with the government in this investigation and will continue to do so,” Mickelson said in a statement released early Saturday. “I wish I could fully discuss this matter, but under the current circumstances it's just not possible.”

Mickelson also said his legal counsel has advised him to make no further statements. His attorney, Glenn Cohen, told the Wall Street Journal, “Phil is not the target of any investigation. Period,” and added that an FBI agent told him Mickelson wasn't a target.

Icahn told CNBC's Scott Wapner that he’s never met Mickelson and that he has not been contacted by the FBI or served any subpoenas.

“We don't know of any investigation. We’re proud of our 50-year unblemished record. I have never given out inside information," Icahn said to CNBC.

When contacted by the Wall Street Journal, Walters declined to comment.

Icahn was launching a takeover bid of Clorox around the time Mickelson and Walters placed trades in the company in 2011. The investigation has been ongoing for two years.

A second trade in 2012 involving Dean Foods is also being investigated. The reports state that Mickelson has played with Walters in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in the past. Walters won the pro-am portion of the event in 2008 while paired with Fredrik Jacobson.

Authorities met with Mickelson after Thursday’s opening round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village seeking to speak with him about the investigation. According to the report, Mickelson referred the agents to his attorneys.

Mickelson is tied for 37th place at the Memorial and is scheduled to tee off at 10:27 a.m. (ET) on Saturday. 

Note: This video on Billy Walters was featured on Golf Channel several years ago.