According to a Wall Street Journal report that references “a source familiar with the matter”, U.S. authorities have sought information from food and beverage company Dean Foods Co (DF) in connection with an insider-trading probe of billionaire investor Carl Icahn, which also involves golfer Phil Mickelson and Las Vegas gambler William Walters.
The Journal said consumer products maker Clorox Co. (CLX) received a request for information from the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] in 2011 related to trading in its shares.
The FBI and SEC are examining trading in Clorox shares around July 2011, when Icahn made an offer to buy the company for $76.50 per share. In the case of Dean Foods, the probe is focused on trading related to the 2012 spinoff of its organic foods division WhiteWave Foods Co (WWAV), the business daily’s report said.
The investigators are looking into well-timed trades by Mickelson, a three-time Masters champion, and Walters, and whether they may have traded illegally on information provided by Icahn.
Earlier this month, Icahn said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg News that he has “never given out inside information” and isn’t aware of the investigation. Icahn, who has repeatedly said he is proud of his 50-year “unblemished record”, also pointed out that he “never purchased” or was “involved in any way with Dean Foods,” and that he never spoke to the three-time Masters champion Mickelson.
The FBI and other federal agencies have not commented publicly on the allegations.
None of the men have been directly accused of any wrongdoing.