Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks charged with, admits to insider trading

Kendricks plans to enter plea in federal court next week

Daryl Ruiter
August 29, 2018 - 11:08 am
New Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks stretches during OTAs on June 5, 2018 after signing a 1-year contract.

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

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Cleveland (92.3 The Fan) – Federal authorities charged Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks with insider trading Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain said that Kendricks profited $1.2 million and paid $10,000 cash and Eagles tickets to co-defendant Damilare Sonoiki in exchange for information in the scheme. 

Kendricks admitted the wrongdoing in a statement released Wednesday morning.

The full text of Kendricks' statement is below - unedited. 

“I would like to apologize. 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 this point, I had worked my tail off since I was 5 years old to become a football player.  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 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.”

Kendricks’ lawyers tell 92.3 The Fan that they are arranging a court date next week for Kendricks to enter a plea.

According to prosecutors, Sonoiki, who is listed as a writer for various movies and TV shows including "Black-ish" according to an IMBD profile, was a trader at an unnamed firm that worked with Kendricks. 

The Securities Exchange Commission filed a separate complaint against Kendricks and Sonoiki.

If convicted, Kendricks and Sonoiki could face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $5.25 million in addition to the seizure of any proceeds as a result of the insider trading.

The Browns issued a statement through a team spokesperson Wednesday morning.

“We are aware of the situation and in communication with the league office as we gather more information. Mychal will not make the trip to Detroit. We will comment further at the appropriate time.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “We are aware of today’s developments and will review the matter.”

Kendricks signed a 1-year $2.25 million deal with the Browns in June as a free agent after helping the Philadelphia Eagles win Super Bowl LII last season