Wall Street maverick Carl Icahn denies insider trading said to involve top golfer Phil Mickelson

The FBI is reported to be investigating claims of a scam said to involve top golfer Phil Mickelson

US financier Carl Icahn, one of the richest people in the world, is reportedly facing an FBI investigation into an alleged insider-trading scam said to involve top golfer Phil Mickelson and a Las Vegas gambler called Billy Walters.

The businessman, 78, whose self-made fortune is put at $23bn (£13.7bn), is reportedly at the centre of an FBI investigation into whether Mr Mickelson and Mr Walters may have traded shares illegally, based on information provided by Mr Icahn. Mr Mickelson’s lawyers say he is not the target of an investigation.

Mr Icahn told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, that any claims he was involved in any improper trading were “inflammatory and speculative”. He said: “We do not know of any investigation. We are always very careful to observe all legal requirements in all of our activities.”

The authorities are trying to find out if Mr Icahn tipped off Mr Walters about investments that were big enough to affect the market price before they were made public by his company, Icahn Enterprises, sources told The WSJ. The golfer was reportedly approached by two FBI agents after finishing his round at a tournament in Ohio on Thursday. His lawyer later told The WSJ: “Phil is not the target of any investigation … period.” Mr Mickelson later said in a statement: “I have done absolutely nothing wrong. I have co-operated with the government in this investigation and will continue to do so.”

Phil Mickelson may also be involved Phil Mickelson may also be involved Mr Walters had made no comment yesterday.

Mr Icahn is one of Wall Street’s most colourful characters. If the fictional character of Gordon Gekko became the epitome of 1980s selfishness and greed, Mr Icahn was the real-life “corporate raider” who actually said the line from Oliver Stone’s film Wall Street: “If you want a friend on Wall Street, get a dog.”

Once viewed as a financial predator, Mr Icahn in latter years has gained a much better reputation with his brand of shareholder activism seen as championing democracy in the boardroom. Earlier this year, he was named as one of the top 25 “rebels, icons and leaders” of the past 25 years by NBC’s business channel, CNBC.

In 1985, he succeeded in the hostile takeover of airline TWA, taking the firm private before parting company in the early 1990s as it filed for bankruptcy. TWA, once owned by Howard Hughes, struggled on before merging with American Airlines a few years later.

He has been involved in a vast range of companies from Apple, eBay and Netflix to Marvel Comics, cosmetics firm Revlon and health and nutrition giant Herbalife. He also made a serious, but unsuccessful, attempt to oust most of the board of media and entertainment giant Time Warner, and last year lost a seven-month battle to stop Dell from accepting a $25bn bid from its founder Michael Dell to buy the computer firm.

His specially created Monopoly board, ‘the great gift from my daughter’ His specially created Monopoly board, ‘the great gift from my daughter’ His financial exploits have been documented to an extent on Twitter, which he has taken to with gusto since joining in June last year, amassing some 166,000 followers. “Some people get rich studying artificial intelligence. Me, I make money studying natural stupidity,” his “bio” section says.

His sense of humour is never far away. In March, he tweeted a picture of a specially designed Monopoly or “Icahnopoly” board featuring the names of companies he has invested in. There were a number of other changes – players passing Go receive $200m rather than the usual $200 and jail was replaced by a party with a knife-and-fork symbol.

“Great gift from my daughter,” he tweeted. “She says a 2nd addition [sic] coming soon. Hope $EBAY is on it.”

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
newsFloyd 'Creeky' Creekmore still performed regularly to raise money for local hospitals
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?