Golfer Mickelson says returning Dean Foods trading gains

Thu May 19, 2016 2:15pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Professional golfer Phil Mickelson said on Thursday he has agreed to return gains he made in 2012 from trading in Dean Foods Co DF.N stock and said he felt "vindicated" that U.S. authorities have not charged him with violating securities laws.

In a statement via his attorney, Mickelson said he had no desire to benefit from any transaction that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission viewed as questionable and that he takes "full responsibility" for having become part of the probe.

Mickelson, who has won three Masters golf titles, said he appreciates that the companies he represents have decided to continue their sponsorship agreements with him, and he is pleased the matter is over, according to the statement.

The golfer said he will have no further comment.

Mickelson was not criminally charged, but was named as a relief defendant in a civil lawsuit by the SEC. A relief defendant is not accused of wrongdoing but has received ill-gotten gains as a result of others' illegal acts.

(Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Dan Grebler)

Andrew Ceresney, Director of SEC Enforcement division, speaks during a news conference regarding Las Vegas sports bettor William "Billy" Walters and Dean Food's former chairman Thomas Davis, both charged with insider trading, in New York City, U.S. May 19, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid