Golfer Phil Mickelson has been charged as part of an insider dealing case filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
According to the authorities, Mickelson used an alleged tip he received from a gambler, William “Billy” Walters, who got information from a former chairman of Dean Foods, Thomas Davis.
Davis allegedly passed information to Walters through prepaid cell phones, referring to Dean Foods as the “Dallas Cowboys” in conversations.
The SEC said that after contact with Walter, Mickelson bought $2.4m worth of securities, vastly outsizing his other holdings of less than $250,000 (£171,000).
After Dean Foods' stock price jumped 40 per cent, Mickelson sold his shares, making a profit of approximately $931,000, which he used to repay debts to Walters.
The SEC say Mickelson is a relief defendant, meaning that he has received property obtained illegally but is not directly accused of wrongdoing.
“Walters illegally reaped tens of millions of dollars with the benefit of the ultimate ace in the hole – confidential information leaked by a sitting board member of a public company,” SEC enforcement division director Andrew Ceresney said.
“Additionally, Mickelson will repay the money he made from his trading in Dean Foods because he should not be allowed to profit from Walters’s illegal conduct.”
Walters and Davis will also face criminal charges in a parallel action filed by the US Attorney's Office for th Southern District of New York.