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Report: Phil Mickelson did not trade in shares of Clorox

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Phil Mickelson's week keeps getting better. (Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson's week keeps getting better. (Getty Images)

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So this Phil Mickelson insider trading thing, it might have been a tad overstated. Here's the New York Times on what has transpired recently and how they whiffed on the Mickelson news.

"Phil Mickelson, the famed golfer, did not trade in the shares of Clorox just as the billionaire investor Carl C. Icahn was mounting an unsolicited takeover bid for the company in 2011, say four people briefed on the matter."
"Although Mr. Icahn and Mr. Walters remain under investigation over Clorox, the F.B.I. and the Securities and Exchange Commission have found no evidence that Mr. Mickelson traded Clorox shares. The overstated scope of the investigation came from information provided to The Times by other people briefed on the matter who have since acknowledged making a mistake."

So Mickelson is good, right? On the Clorox front, yes, but remember he was being investigated for two separate events, the other dealing with trades he allegedly made of Dean Foods.

Not so good there yet.

"The F.B.I., federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the S.E.C. continue to investigate well-timed trades made by Mr. Mickelson and Mr. Walters in shares of Dean Foods in the summer of 2012, the people briefed on the matter said."

The interesting part about all of this to me is that appears the government might have tried to strong-arm Lefty into giving them information.

"Several former federal prosecutors who worked on insider trading investigations, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid antagonizing law enforcement officials, questioned the decision to approach Mr. Mickelson after he finished a round of golf at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio. The former prosecutors speculated that the government wanted to embarrass him into cooperating against Mr. Walters.

"'If this were the only effort they made at that time to contact him, having it be so public could be seen as an aggressive move,' said Daniel C. Richman, a criminal law professor at the Columbia University School of Law."

There's a long way to go with this but that's not a great initial look. Except for Mickelson, it's great for Mickelson.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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