Kendricks in Hot Water Over Insider Trading
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Former Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks is in hot water after being accused of insider trading by federal prosecutors.
Kendricks, who is now a member of the Cleveland Browns, is alleged of turning $80,000 into over $1.2 million in less than six months on four investments thanks to information he received from Damilare Sonoiki, a television writer and former Goldman Sachs employee, while with Philadelphia four years ago.
Among the kickbacks provided by Kendricks for the information was Eagles tickets.
Kendricks released a statement after the announcement of the charges by U.S. Attorney William McSwain, admitting to insider trading and accepting "full responsibility for my actions."
McSwain, the U.S. Attorney for the District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania, said both Kendricks and Sonoiki face "substantial prison time" if convicted.
"I would like to apologize," Kendricks said in the statement released by his attorneys. "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."
Kendricks, 27, also said he has cooperated with authorities and plans to continue to do so while also repaying the illegally-gained funds.
The Browns released a brief statement after the news broke, saying they are "aware of the situation and in communication with the league office." Cleveland also said Kendricks will not travel with the team to Detroit for Thursday night's preseason finale against the Lions.
Kendrick spent his first six NFL seasons with the Eagles before being released by Philadelphia back in May.
"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," Kendricks said. "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."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen