Dallas’ Dean Foods ex-chairman said to be probed for insider trading involving pro golfer

Tom C. Davis, who resigned as Dean Foods Co. chairman without explanation last week, is under investigation by federal authorities as part of an insider-trading probe, a person familiar with the matter said.

Davis is cooperating with the Securities and Exchange Commission, his lawyer Tom Melsheimer said in an e-mail. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also inquiring, according to the person, who requested anonymity because the matter isn’t public.

The two agencies and prosecutors in New York were reviewing Dean Foods trades made in 2012 by Las Vegas gambler William “Billy” Walters and golfer Phil Mickelson, a second person familiar with the matter said in June of last year.

Dean Foods received a subpoena from government authorities and handed over the information they requested, said a third person familiar with the matter, who also declined to be identified because the investigation isn’t public.

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The SEC, FBI and the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined to comment on whether Davis is being investigated.

Davis “has no knowledge of any material, nonpublic information about Dean Foods Co. being communicated to Mr. Walters by anyone, at any time,” Melsheimer said Thursday.

Walters and Mickelson haven’t been accused of wrongdoing.

An attorney for Walters, Barry Langberg, said last year his client “was not involved in any insider trading.” Langberg declined to comment further when reached Thursday.

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T.R. Reinman, a spokesman for Lagardere Unlimited, the agency representing Mickelson, declined to comment on reports of an investigation. The golfer last year denied being involved in insider trading.

“Dean Foods has cooperated with the government’s requests for information and will continue to do so,” the company said in a statement. “Because there is an ongoing government investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The Wall Street Journal reported the probe earlier.