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SEC: Phil Mickelson made almost $1M on insider trade, not criminally charged

Darren Rovell, David Purdum and Aaron Katersky, ESPN

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday alleged that golfer Phil Mickelson made $931,000 after purchasing stock on an insider trading tip from sports gambler Billy Walters and then used some of the money to pay back Walters, to whom he allegedly owed money.

The SEC on Thursday said Mickelson, who was not criminally charged, has agreed to pay back “all ill-gotten gains,” which, including interest, totals $1.03 million.

Mickelson instead was charged as a relief defendant, which is reserved for a person who profited without evidence of knowledge concerning the origin of the illegal tip.

“Simply put, the money Mr. Mickelson made was not his to make,” said Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s enforcement division.

A spokesman for Mickelson issued a statement Thursday, saying the golfer has “no desire to benefit from any transaction that the SEC sees as questionable.”

“Phil understands and deeply respects the high professional and ethical standards that the companies he represents expect of their employees, associates and of Phil himself,” the statement said. “He subscribes to the same values and regrets any appearance that, on this occasion, he fell short. He takes full responsibility for the decisions and associations that led him to becoming part of this investigation.

“… He is pleased that this matter is over, and he will have no further comment.”

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