Golfer Phil Mickelson on Thursday was accused of insider trading in connection with a case where two others are facing criminal charges.
Mickelson said by the Securities and Exchange Commission to have used an alleged tip he received from gambler William “Billy” Walters, who got information from a former Dean Foods chairman, Thomas Davis.
Everyone's favorite southpaw golfer made a small fortune off of the hot tip, which raised some eyebrows over at Mary Jo's office. Those eyebrows stayed up when Mickelson treated his trade profit like a hot potato baked by Martha Stewart.
The SEC said that Walters called and then sent text messages to Mickelson, who ultimately bought a $2.4 million position in three accounts he controlled. Those securities “dwarfed” Mickelson’s other holdings, which were collectively valued at less than $250,000, the SEC said. Mickelson had not been a frequent trader, and these were his first Dean Foods purchases, the SEC said. Mickelson made a profit of approximately $931,000 from the stock, which he held for about a week.
That's what folks in the world of dark edge call a "wicked slice." Luckily for Mickelson, he's only being charged as a relief defendant and will only have to pay back the money without threat of jail time. And for a multi-millionaire pro golfer that shouldn't be too hard... right?
The reason Mickelson, who the PGA Tour website indicated has career earnings of $79.5 million, made these trades? According to the SEC, Mickelson owed Walters money at the time Walters urged him to trade. That’s also the case with Davis — the SEC said he owed Walters money.
Oh, Lefty, now you'll never get a gig at Point72 Asset Management.