American crime authorities FBI and Security and Exchanges Commission are reportedly investigating Mickelson, along with billionaire investor Carl Icahn and professional Las Vegas gambler William Walters for involvement in insider trading deals, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Mickelson, the winner of five major championships, spoke out on the issue at the Memorial Golf Tournament he has been taking part in at Dublin, Ohio, stating that he had been “fully co-operating with the FBI” regarding its investigation, and “will continue to do so in future” until the matter is resolved.
His statement follows reports he had been visited by two FBI agents for a conversation on Thursday evening after the first round of the tournament, which Mickelson confirmed as “accurate”.
The investigation is allegedly focusing on two different sets of trades, one involving Clorox, a cleaning products company, and the other involving Dean Foods, a food and beverage company.
Mickelson and Walters allegedly placed trades in Clorox in 2011, around the time that Icahn was involved in a takeover bid for the company. Investigators are looking into whether Icahn may have leaked information regarding the bid to Walters, and if Walters subsequently passed on the information to Mickelson.
Icahn, a legendary activist investor, said that he was unaware of any investigation and said that his firm always followed the law. He acknowledged a business relationship with Walters but said that he did not know Mickelson personally
Glenn Cohen the Jacksonville, Florida based lawyer for Mickelson has stated that his client is “not the target of any investigation. Period.”
The FBI meanwhile has not publicly commented on the story, and nobody has been directly accused of wrongdoing.