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Mickelson Says He's Done Nothing Wrong In Trading Probe


NPR's Business News starts with a hazard on the green. If you're like me, you heard this story and your first reaction was - what? The FBI and the Securities Exchange Commission are investing golf pro Phil Mickelson over allegations of insider trading. What's going on here? NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: Three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson found himself in a strange position on the green recently. Last Thursday, two FBI agents met him on an Ohio golf course to ask him about an insider trading investigation. Saturday, Mickelson told reporters he is innocent and fully cooperating with the FBI.


PHIL MICKELSON: I can't really go into much right now, but as I said in my statement, I have done absolutely nothing wrong.

SANDERS: Officials think investor Carl Icahn gave investment tips to William "Billy" Walters, a Las Vegas sports bettor. The thought is that Walters may have shared some tips with Mickelson. The two have played golf together. The investigation began about three years ago, after Icahn bought a large stake in Clorox company. And well-timed trading around that bid made some investors a lot of money. For now, Mickelson says he'll keep playing.


MICKELSON: You have to be able to block out whatever's going on off the golf course and be able to focus on the golf course. Honestly, I've done nothing wrong. I'm not going to walk around any other way.

SANDERS: Over the course of his career, Mickelson has made over $73 million in official prize money. Sam Sanders, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sam Sanders
Sam Sanders is a correspondent and host of It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders at NPR. In the show, Sanders engages with journalists, actors, musicians, and listeners to gain the kind of understanding about news and popular culture that can only be reached through conversation. The podcast releases two episodes each week: a "deep dive" interview on Tuesdays, as well as a Friday wrap of the week's news.