Federal authorities have been investigating charges of insider trading involving Phil Mickelson, Carl Icahn and sports gambler William Walters. Authorities initially believed that Icahn passed on information on the possible takeover to Walters who in turn sent the tip to Mickelson.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Securities and Exchange Commission has said there is no evidence against Mickelson and that the scope of the investigation had been overstated. Mickelson has stated that he has "done absolutely nothing wrong."
"I'll cooperate as much as I can with the F.B.I," he added.
Icahn in response to the investigation said "I don't give out inside information," adding that "for 50 years I have had an unblemished record."
But Mickelson and Walters are still facing an investigation into separate well-timed trades they made in Dean Foods in 2012. The trades reportedly generated profits of $15 million for Mickelson and $1 million for Walters, with Mickelson stating that he was innocent of any insider trading.
Despite assurances from the government that they were seeking his cooperation in securing information on Walters, they have been aggressively approaching him in public, once at an airport and another time at a golf course.
FBI agents approached Mickelson at a golf tournament in Ohio last month, when he asked them to speak to his lawyers. It is an unusual move by the FBI to approach someone multiple times, especially when they have already gotten the cooperation of that person.
"If this were the only effort they made at that time to contact him, having it be so public could be seen as an aggressive move," said Daniel C. Richman, a criminal law professor at the Columbia University School of Law.
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