Insider Trading Rocks the NFL and Goldman Sachs

By CultureBanx Team

  • Mychal Kendricks & Damilare Sonoiki charged with $1.2 million in insider trading profits
  • Kendricks earned about $20 million during his NFL career

The worlds of banking, football and TV have collided on prosecutors desks at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Former Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks, along with ex-Goldman Sachs (GS -0.66%) banker turned “Black-ish” writer Damilare Sonoiki have been charged criminally with insider trading, to the tune of nearly $1.2 million in profits.

Why This Matters: Two careers and reputations have been tarnished, simply for football game tickets and about 5% of Kendricks total career earnings. The scheme started back in the summer of 2014 between the two 27 year old men, when Sonoiki told Kendricks about four corporate acquisitions. The Philadelphia Enquirer reported “Kendricks provided $10k in cash and Eagles tickets in exchange for stock information.” He also helped Sonoiki appear in a Teyanna Taylor video.

In a parallel civil lawsuit by the SEC, they allege Sonoiki provided Kendricks with non-public information, through coded text messages and FaceTime video conversations. Both men have been charged criminally with one count of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Sonoiki is the son of Nigerian immigrants who graduated from Harvard. He worked  for Goldman Sachs as a bank analyst until 2015, and left the firm to pursue a career in Hollywood as a writer on the ABC television show “Black-ish.” During Kendricks NFL career he earned about $20 million including his salaries and bonuses.

What’s Next: Both men are expected to plead guilty. If convicted they could face a maximum prison sentence of 25 years and large fines up to $5 million. In addition to the fines Kendricks and Sonoiki could be ordered to return any proceeds.

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