In today’s NFL episode of ‘Well, at least it’s not domestic violence, kneeling or CTE related”, former Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns’ linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been charged by the Feds with insider trading. He reportedly made close to $1.2 million by trading ahead of four acquisition announcements from 2013 to 2015, officials said.
His partner in crime was Damilare Sonolki, a former global investment banker at an unnamed megabank in New York. He’s under investigation for taking kickbacks that included Eagles tickets and more.
Both Kendricks and Sonoiki are charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and committing securities fraud, according to investigators. The charges carry a maximum 25-year prison sentence and a $5.25 million fine.
Sonoiki set up a bank account that Kendricks could access shortly after being hired by the bank. Afterward they began trading information and used coded language in texts to disguise an initial $80,000 transfer into the account.
Over the span of nearly two years, Kendricks paid Sonoiki in cash during in-person meetings, including one at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, according to investigators.
“Within a year of beginning his employment at the investment bank, [Sonoiki] was brazenly committing crimes,” McSwain said.
According to a 2016 interview with the website Medium, Sonoiki is a Harvard University graduate and former writer for the ABC hit TV show “Blackish.”
Kendricks is currently a linebacker for the Cleveland Browns, but will not travel with the team to face the Detroit Lions this week, a spokesperson for the team said.
“I apologize,” he said in a statement emailed by his attorney, Philadelphia lawyer Michael A. Schwartz. “I participated in insider trading and I deeply regret it. I invested money with a former friend of mine who I thought I could trust and who I greatly admired.”
Kendricks went on to say that he “didn’t fully understand the details of the illegal trades” but “knew it was wrong.”