Phil Mickelson is on the defense’s witness list in the insider trading trial of professional gambler Billy Walters, but it is not known if the golfer will testify, ESPN.com reported.
Walters is accused of using inside information obtained from Dean Foods executive Thomas Davis to illegally profit from trading stock in that company in 2012. He is also accused of passing the information to friends, including Mickelson.
Mickelson made $931,000 on a stock trade involving Dean Foods that same year, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged. He was not criminally charged, but he did agree to pay back $1.03 million (the profit plus interest).
A spokesperson for the golfer said he had “no desire to benefit from any transaction that the SEC sees as questionable.”
It is somewhat surprising that Mickelson’s name is on the defense’s witness list, and not on that of the state. During the first week of the trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Goldman told Judge Kevin Castel that Mickelson "will be part of this trial," Bloomberg reported.
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But Walters’ lawyer, Barry Berke, said in his opening arguments that it would be illogical for anyone to share insider information with a celebrity of Mickelson’s stature, since it would “attract regulatory scrutiny.”
As the trial in New York enters its second week, Mickelson is tentatively scheduled to play in the WGC-Match Play, which tees of Wednesday in Austin, Texas.