Department of Justice Says FBI Leaked Info on Mickelson-Related Probe to Media

December 17, 2016
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An FBI agent leaked confidential information regarding an insider trading probe of Phil Mickelson and Billy Walters to the media, while the investigation was ongoing, according to a letter filed by the Department of Justice.

U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said the agent admitted to being a significant source of information to reporters at both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, resulting in some seven articles published between May 30, 2014 and June 23, 2014. Those articles, which contained “sensitive and confidential details, including trades being examined, records being analyzed, the name of an individual approached by the FBI and the supposed targets of the investigation,” led to an indictment of Walters and Dean Foods former executive Thomas C. Davis.

“The agent further admitted that, prior to his Dec. 6 interview, he had hidden those communications with the press from both the U.S. Attorney’s Office and others within the FBI,” Bharara said.

The letter states that the agent has been reported to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, and that the issue has been brought to the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice — but the disclosure of said confidential information could have violated the criminal procedure of the case.

While Mickelson was not charged, he did agree to repay just over $1 million in “ill-gotten gains” from stock trades he and Walters made on Dean Foods in 2011. Walters trial is set to start July 29, 2017, in New York.