SEC, FBI Probe Trading of Carl Icahn --> Billy Walters --> Phil Mickelson | Bob's Blitz

SEC, FBI Probe Trading of Carl Icahn --> Billy Walters --> Phil Mickelson

The FBI and SEC have opened probes into whether Phil Mickelson traded illegally on information from Carl Icahn passed to him via Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters.

Federal authorities are examining a series of well-timed trades made by golfer Phil Mickelson and gambler William T. Walters, people briefed on the investigation said, focusing on trading in two stocks. The authorities are also questioning what role, if any, investor Carl C. Icahn may have had in sharing information about one of the stocks, of consumer products company Clorox.


The FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission, which are leading the inquiry along with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, are examining whether Icahn leaked details of his Clorox bid to Walters, the people briefed on the investigation said. One theory, the people said, is that Walters might have passed that information to Mickelson.


Mickelson, Walters and Icahn have not been accused of wrongdoing. Icahn, even if he did leak information about his firm’s intentions with Clorox, may have done so legally. It would be illegal if he breached a duty of confidentiality to his own investors.

In a separate strand of the investigation, federal authorities are looking into trading in Dean Foods that has no apparent connection to Icahn, the people briefed on the matter said. Walters and Mickelson placed the trades around August 2012, according to the people, just before the food and beverage company announced its quarterly earnings and a public offering of stock for one of its subsidiaries. The authorities are investigating whether Walters had a source inside the company itself — and whether others who know Walters may have traded on the information as well.

Walters, reached Friday evening, said, “While I don’t have any comment, pal, I’ll talk to you later.”

In an interview, Icahn said, “I don’t give out inside information,” adding that “for 50 years I have had an unblemished record.”

Mickelson responded to the story, "I have done absolutely nothing wrong. 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."

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