NFL: Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks facing federal charges over insider trading on stock market

Mychal Kendricks who won the Super Bowl in February with the Eagles, paid his informant with cash, Eagles tickets and access to the set of singer Tayana Taylor’s music video

Mychal Kendricks during the Super Bowl LII in February
Mychal Kendricks during the Super Bowl LII in February

The Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks is facing federal charges over insider trading on the stock exchange, after he admitted making illegal investments alongside the former city trader and TV writer Damilare Sonoiki.

The charges relate to four specific investments made by Kendricks’ trading account which were linked back to the former Philadelphia Eagles player via Sonoiki’s IP address. In return for inside information Sonoiki allegedly received cash, Eagles tickets and access to the set of singer Teyana Taylor’s music video.

Kendricks made nearly $1.2m (£935m) on acquisition announcements, according to US Attorney William M McSwain.

Mychal Kendricks in action for the Philadelphia Eagles

Of Sonoiki, McSwain said: “Within a year of beginning his employment at the investment bank, he was brazenly committing crimes. He is alleged to have passed material non-public info to an acquaintance, Mr Kendricks.

“Mr. Kendricks and Mr Sonoiki are alleged to have cheated the markets, cheated other investors and placed themselves above the law,” he added.

Kendricks, who won the Super Bowl in February with the Eagles, released a statement through his lawyer on Wednesday admitting to and apologising for the crimes he committed between 2013 and 2015.

“I apologize,” read the statement. “Four years ago, 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. His background as a Harvard graduate and an employee of Goldman Sachs gave me a false sense of confidence. To that point, I had worked my tail off since I was 5 years old to become the football player that I am today. I was drawn in by the allure of being more than just a football player. While I didn’t fully understand all of the details of the illegal trades, I knew it was wrong, and I wholeheartedly regret my actions.

“Since the beginning of the investigation, I have fully cooperated with all of the authorities and will continue to do so. I accept full responsibility for my actions. Although I did not take any of the profits for myself, I am committed to repaying all of the funds gained illegally and accept the consequences of my actions.

“I sincerely apologize to my coaches, the owners, and my teammates on the Eagles and the Browns, the NFL, and the magnificent fans to whom I owe my career. I also apologize to my family, who I have failed in this. You all deserve better, and I will work my hardest to re-earn your trust and respect, serve as an advocate to educate others, and show you that I will never be involved in anything like this again. Thank you for your time and hopefully your forgiveness.”

The Browns said they were aware of the situation and were in communication with the NFL.

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