Activist investor Carl Icahn, golfer Phil Mickelson and sports gambler William Walters are targets of an insider-trading probe by U.S. authorities, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing people briefed on the investigation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission are examining whether during the past three years Mickelson and Walters traded using non-public information provided by Icahn about companies he had invested in, the paper said.
The investigation is looking at large option trades in the days before Icahn’s $10.2 billion offer for Clorox Co. (CLX) in July 2011, as well as trading patterns related to Dean Foods Co. (DF), the WSJ said.
Icahn has said he has never traded in Dean Foods and is not aware of any federal investigation, the paper reported. The suggestion that he was involved in improper trading was “inflammatory and speculative,” Icahn said, according to the WSJ.
A lawyer for Mickelson denied the golfer was the target of any investigation, while Walters declined to comment, the paper reported.
Icahn Enterprises and Mickelson’s attorney Glenn Cohen were unavailable for comment when contacted by Bloomberg News outside regular office hours. Contact details for Walters couldn’t immediately be found.
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