May 20th, 2016
Phil Mickelson agrees to pay back $931,000
But otherwise off the hook
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
Phil Mickelson has agreed to pay back the $931,000 (£639,000) profit he made from an investment in an insider trading scheme in 2012. But he's otherwise off the hook.
Mickelson was not the target of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation, and issued the following statement through his management team to clarify his payment to the regulatory body:
'The SEC has now completed its investigation into that investment and has concluded that Phil Mickelson did not engage in any wrongdoing,' the statement says.
'The SEC has filed a civil complaint against certain individuals, including an acquaintance of Phil's, but that complaint does not assert that Phil Mickelson violated the securities law in any way. On that point, Phil feels vindicated.
'At the same time, however, Phil has no desire to benefit from any transaction that the SEC sees as questionable. Accordingly, he has entered into an agreement with the SEC under which he will return all the money he made on that 2012 investment.'
Mickelson was accused only of profiting from the misdeeds of others.
'Simply put, Mickelson made money that wasn't his to make,' Andrew Ceresney, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division, said at a Manhattan news conference.
The SEC launched criminal charges on Thursday against the gambler William Walters, and a former corporate board member of Dean Foods Co, Thomas Davis, alleging that they used insider information to make tens of millions of dollars in illicit stock trades between 2008 and 2012.
In 2012, according to The SEC, Walters called Mickelson, who owed him money, and told him to trade stock of the Dallas-based distributor of Land O Lakes butter and other dairy products.
The SEC says Mickelson made the trade the next day and reaped a profit of $931,000 that he used to help pay off the debt.
Mickelson's management group issued a statement Thursday saying that he felt 'vindicated' because prosecutors hadn't charged him with breaking securities laws. It added: 'He takes full responsibility for the decisions and associations that led him to becoming part of this investigation.'