The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission in the U.S. are investigating Carl Icahn the billionaire investor and Phil Mickelson the professional golfer for possible insider trading. Also in included in the investigation is William Walters a gambler from Las Vegas.
Investigators are looking at whether Walters and Mickelson traded illegally through private information that Icahn provided about the investments he has in public corporation, said a source close to the matter.
Icahn is a renowned activist investor and told reporters that he had been unaware that there was an investigation and said his firm always abided by the law.
Icahn did acknowledge he has a business relationship with the gambler from Las Vegas, but he did not personally know Mickelson.
Icahn said he had an unblemished record for 50 years that he was proud of and had never given out any insider information.
Mickelson and Walters play golf together, said the source.
Mickelson in a prepared statement said he had done nothing wrong. He said he has cooperated with the federal government, in the investigation and would continue doing so.
The golfer said he wished he could discuss the matter fully but due to the current investigation, it was not possible.
One prominent newspaper said that Mickelson’s lawyer Glenn Cohen said the legend in golf was not being targeted in the federal probe.
The investigation started over three years ago said one source. The investigation is centering round suspicious traded by Mickelson and Walters in Clorox Co as Icahn was attempting to access a spot on the board of directors at the consumer products behemoth back in 2011.
Icahn accumulated a stake of 9.1% in Clorox by February 2011. In July of that year, he made a bid for the company putting its value at over $10 billion, which sent the stock soaring.
Federal investigators also were looking at trades that Walters and Mickelson made with Dean Foods Co. In that case, investigators looked into trades that had been placed in 2012 just prior to the company announcing its quarterly results.