U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday identified the FBI agent who they say admitted to leaking information to reporters about an insider trading probe involving a Las Vegas sports gambler and golfer Phil Mickelson.
David Chaves, a Federal Bureau of Investigation coordinating supervisory special agent, was named in court papers filed in Manhattan federal court as the agent prosecutors say leaked details about the probe of gambler William “Billy” Walters.
Prosecutors have said the agent, who they previously had not identified, admitted on Dec. 6 to being a “significant source” of information about the investigation in 2013 and 2014 for reporters at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Those newspapers published a series of reports beginning in 2014 about the investigation, two years before prosecutors in May brought insider trading charges against Walters, who has built a fortune as a sports bettor.
The leaks are now the subject of a criminal investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, prosecutors disclosed Dec. 21. Walters’ lawyers are meanwhile expected to seek the case’s dismissal as a result of the leaks.
Chaves, who oversaw the FBI squad that conducted the investigation, has not been charged in connection with the leaks. His lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Walters declined comment.
Chaves previously has been involved in several high-profile securities fraud matters, including an FBI probe into insider trading in the hedge fund industry dubbed “Operation Perfect Hedge” that resulted in dozens of people being charged.
In Walters’ case, prosecutors say the gambler made more than $40 million through insider trading on tips supplied by Thomas Davis, the former chairman of Dean Foods Co.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a related civil case said Mickelson, who has won three Masters pro golf titles, at one point bought Dean Foods’ stock on a recommendation by Walters, to whom he owed money.
Mickelson was not accused of wrongdoing, but he reached an agreement with the SEC to pay back $1.03 million the regulator said he earned trading shares of Dean Foods. Davis has pleaded guilty. Walters is scheduled to face trial on March 13.
Lawyers for Mickelson and Davis did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
The case is U.S. v. Davis et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-cr-338.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)
No vaccine, no carnival, Rio’s samba schools warn
Some of Rio's biggest samba schools say they will not participate in next year's Carnival unless a coronavirus vaccine is widely available, Brazilian media reported Tuesday.
Five of the 12 top samba schools, including Mangueira and Beija Flor, told Brazil's O Globo newspaper they would vote to postpone the parades at a meeting set for Tuesday.
"It's simple. If there's no vaccine, there will be no samba," said the head of the Sao Clemente school, Renatinho Gomes.
"How can you gather crowds without collective immunity?"
The mayor of the northwestern city of Salvador de Bahia, where festivities also attract thousands of tourists, has proposed postponing the carnival season nationwide until April or June.
New York couple point guns at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their house
A New York couple pointed guns at protesters marching past their house during a Black Lives Matter rally, and activists want them to be charged.
Protesters were nearing the end of their parade route when a white man came out of his home shouting obscenities in an apparent attempt to incite the group, and then yelled to his wife to get his gun, reported WNYT-TV.
Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson, who took part in the march, said the woman came back outside and started waving the gun around.
Australian columnist aghast at America’s ‘rotten’ COVID-19 response: ‘We are witnessing the fall of a great power’
A columnist for an Australian newspaper has been watching the United States' response to the novel coronavirus with a mix of shock and horror -- and he now believes "we are witnessing the fall of a great power."
Crispin Hull, an editor and columnist for The Canberra Times, argues in his latest column that President Donald Trump's disastrous handling of the pandemic is symbolic of deep rot within the American political system.