Browns release linebacker Mychal Kendricks

Kendricks admitted involvement after being charged with insider trading

Daryl Ruiter
August 29, 2018 - 8:59 pm
Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks (54) leaves the field after minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns released linebacker Mychal Kendricks Wednesday evening.

His release came less than 12 hours after federal authorities charged him with insider trading in which he is accused of making $1.2 million in profits.

The Browns signed Kendricks in June to a 1-year, $2.25 million contract but were unaware that Kendricks was the subject or suspect in a federal investigation until charges were filed by U.S. Attorney William McSwain in Philadelphia Wednesday morning.

“Prior to signing Mychal, we were informed that there was a financial situation that he had been involved with in 2014. We were told Mychal had fully cooperated with investigators as a victim,” Browns general manager John Dorsey said in a statement released by the team. “From what was communicated at that time and based on the numerous questions we asked and further due diligence on our part, including checking with the league office, there was no information discovered that conveyed otherwise. 

“Recently, we were provided an update on the matter and the circumstances have changed. We are now dealing with a different set of facts and the additional information we’ve gathered has led us to the decision to release Mychal from our team. Due to the ongoing legal nature of this situation, we will have no further comments.”

Kendricks admitted to his involvement in the scheme in a statement released Wednesday morning.

“Four years ago, I participated in insider trading, and I deeply regret it,” Kendricks said in the statement. “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.”

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

Kendricks said Wednesday that he has fully cooperated with the investigation.

According to prosecutors, Kendricks paid co-defendant Damilare Sonoiki, who is listed as a writer for various movies and TV shows including "Black-ish" according to an IMBD profile and was a trader at an unnamed firm, $10,000 and furnished him with tickets to Philadelphia Eagles games in exchange for non-public information about acquisitions and other deals related to 4 different companies that would affect the price of securities.

The Securities Exchange Commission has also 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 from the insider trading.