Phil Mickelson was questioned by the FBI on Thursday after his first round of the Memorial Tournament regarding a "major" insider-trading probe. The FBI along with the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether non-public information was handed down by billionaire financier Carl Icahn and used for investments by Mickelson and Billy Walters, a Las Vegas bettor.
Fox News reports live on Saturday morning that the specific trading event has to do with Mickelson and Walters investing in Clorox right before the news was announced that Icahn made a $10.2 billion offer to Clorox, which caused the stock to jump up in worth. This investigation has been three-years in the works, according to USA Today on May 31.
That bid was rejected, but Icahn, who had accumulated 9.1% of the Clorox stock, launched a proxy battle to replace the company's board with 11 of his own nominees. This led nowhere and he eventual sold his stoke in Clorox.
The officials investing this alleged insider-trading expanded their probe to now also look at the patterns of trading of both Mickelson and Walters in relation to Dean Foods. Mickelson's lawyer denies that his client is the subject of a probe concerning insider trading. KTAR.com reports that Mickelson is at the "forefront" of this FBI insider trading probe.
Icahn himself took to the media to release a statement saying that "We do not know of any investigation." He also said "we are always careful to observe all legal requirements of our activities."
Mickelson, who is in Dublin, Ohio playing in a PGA tournament said in a statement that he could not fully discuss this matter, but he wished he could. That isn't possible under the current circumstances, he said.
He also denies doing anything illegal saying "I have done absolutely nothing wrong." Mickelson's fans certainly hope that's the case because this is one well-loved PGA champ. Many of his fans give him the benefit of the doubt and believe him when he says that he did nothing wrong.
According to the SB Nation, Mickelson was approached by the FBI Thursday when he finished his round of golf. He reportedly referred the FBI agents to his attorneys, but this had to add some extra stress onto Mickelson's game this weekend.
While you might think that with all of this coming down on Phil during this tournament, it would throw his game off, but he shot 70 on Friday and will tee-off Saturday morning. He is scheduled for a 10:27 a.m. tee-off time.