Much has been written over the last week about the purported FBI “insider trading” investigation into the purchase of Clorox stock options by legendary golfer Phil Mickelson and infamous sports gambler William Walters. If this story didn’t involve famous people such as Mickelson and Carl Icahn, it wouldn’t be much of a story – or a criminal case – at all. Here’s why:
On July 15, 2011, billionaire Carl Icahn announced his interest in taking Clorox, a public company, private in a deal worth approximately $12.6 million. Four days earlier, there was unusual trading involving Clorox options; presumably involving Mickelson and Walters. After the announcement, Clorox’s stock price went up considerably – from about $70 per share to $75 per share — providing Mickelson and Walters (and presumably a lot of other people) with a quick, substantial profit.