US probes Dean Foods ex-chair's connection to Mickelson

Former Dean Foods chairman in hot water

U.S. authorities have launched an investigation into the former chairman of Dean Foods, the country's largest milk processor, who is suspected of leaking confidential information about a corporate spinoff to a professional gambler, who in turn is thought to have tipped off pro golfer Phil Mickelson, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Tom Davis, 66, abruptly resigned as chairman last week ahead of Dean Foods' second quarter earnings release on Monday. The company declined to provide details on his sudden departure, while Davis' lawyer said his resignation was voluntary, the WSJ reported.

The Securities and Exchange Commission together with the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office are probing whether Davis leaked information on the company's 2012 spinoff of its WhiteWave Foods subsidiary to prominent sports bettor William "Billy" Walters, people familiar with the investigation said.

The WSJ has previously reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had looked into potential trading by Mickelson in Dean Foods. The golfer is at the center of a larger investigation into insider trading.

To read the full WSJ report, click here.