Not up to par. The Securities and Exchange Commission named Phil Mickelson in a federal lawsuit filed on Thursday, May 19, and alleged that the golfer made almost $1 million after purchasing stock on an insider trading tip from sports gambler Billy Walters.
According to the documents, the five-time major winner, 45, reportedly used some of the money to pay back Walters, to whom he allegedly owed money from gambling debts. The SEC is now looking to recoup any profits Mickelson gained from the trade, but he was not criminally charged. Mickelson’s attorney has said in a statement that the golfer has made an agreement with the SEC and will return all the money, USA Today Sports reports.
The SEC claims that Mickelson spoke with Walters in 2012 about an upcoming spinoff of dairy company Dean Foods. Walters urged Mickelson to buy the company’s stock based on an insider tip. The Hall of Fame golfer then bought thousand of shares in the company in late July, which skyrocketed on August 7 after the spinoff was announced. Mickelson then sold his shares the next day and repaid Walters using the money from Dean Foods and spinoff WhiteWave Foods.
“Phil has not been charged with insider trading,” Mickelson’s attorneys Gregory B. Craig and Pat Swan said in a statement to USA Today Sports. “Phil was an innocent bystander to alleged wrongdoing by others that he was unaware of. Phil is innocent of any wrongdoing.”
Walters, who is often called the most successful sports bettor in the U.S., was charged with insider trading and was arrested on Wednesday, May 18, in Las Vegas. He will appear in court there on Thursday.
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