Beth Belton, USA TODAY
Federal investigators have launched what the Wall Street Journal is calling "a major insider-trading probe involving finance, gambling and sports" that involves the trading of activist investor Carl Icahn, pro golfer Phil Mickelson and Las Vegas bettor William "Billy" Walters.
According to a story published on the Journal website late Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission are probing whether Mickelson and Walters illegally traded on nonpublic information they allegedly obtained from Icahn about his investments in public companies. TheJournal story attributed the information to "people briefed on the probe."
The feds are said to be investigating whether the past three years Icahn illegally provided Walters — well known in Vegas for his sports-betting abilities — about potentially market-moving investments by Icahn's company, Icahn Enterprises, theJournal story said.
Icahn, Mickelson and Walters are quoted in the article as denying any knowledge of a probe or declining comment.
"We do not know of any investigation," Mr. Icahn told the Journal Friday. "We are always very careful to observe all legal requirements in all of our activities." The suggestion that he was involved in improper trading, he said, was "inflammatory and speculative."
Mickelson is in Dublin, Ohio, playing The Memorial presented by Nationwide Insurance. He shot 70 on Friday to make the cut and is scheduled to tee off Saturday at 10:27 am ET.