Cleveland Browns linebacker Marvin Mychal Kendricks was charged Wednesday for his alleged role in a $1.2 million insider-trading scheme, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Kendricks was charged along with Damilare Sonoiki, an investment banker turned Black-ish writer. The charges claim that Kendricks and Sonoiki conspired to commit securities fraud between July 2014 and March 2015, when Sonoiki was a junior investment analyst at Goldman Sachs, and Kendricks was playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. Prosecutors allege that Sonoiki gave Kendricks non-public information about upcoming mergers involving four of his bank’s clients, in violation of confidentiality requirements. They further claim that Kendricks traded on this information by purchasing call options in the four companies, leading to $1.2 million in illegal gains.
“When individuals engage in insider trading… it undermines the public’s faith in our markets and harms ordinary investors that do play by the rules,” said U.S. Attorney William McSwain. “Mr. Sonoiki and Mr. Kendricks were definitely not playing by the rules.” Kendricks has since apologized, claiming in a statement that “While I didn’t fully understand all of the details of the illegal trades, I knew it was wrong [...] I wholeheartedly regret my actions.” Both men are expected to plead guilty. The Browns said that Kendricks would not accompany the team to a preseason game in Detroit on Thursday.