Former Eagles player Mychal Kendricks is facing federal insider trading charges, according to Philadelphia-based U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain.
Kendricks made nearly $1.2 million by trading ahead of four acquisition announcements from 2013 to 2015, officials said.
Damilare Sonoiki, a former partner at a global investment bank headquartered in New York City, is also facing insider trading charges for receiving kickbacks from Kendricks, including Eagles tickets and other perks, officials said.
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Both Kendricks and Sonoiki are charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and committing securities fraud, according to investigators. The charges carry a maximum 25-year prison sentence and a $5.25 million fine.
"[They] were definitely not playing by the rules," McSwain said.
Shortly after becoming an employee at the investment bank, which was not identified during the news conference, Sonoiki set up a bank account that Kendricks could access, according to investigators. Soon, they began trading information and used coded language in texts to disguise an initial $80,000 transfer into the account.
Over the span of nearly two years, Kendricks paid Sonoiki in cash during in-person meetings, including one at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, according to investigators.
Securities Exchange Commission officials said they traced trades made by Kendricks' account to an IP address associated with Sonoiki.
"Within a year of beginning his employment at the investment bank, [Sonoiki] was brazenly committing crimes," McSwain said.
According to a 2016 interview with the website Medium, Sonoiki is a Harvard University graduate and former writer for the ABC hit TV show "Blackish."
Kendricks was most recently traded to the Cleveland Browns. Several hours after the charges were announced, the Browns announced they had released Kendricks.
Kendricks was quick to offer his side of the story Wednesday.
"I apologize," he said in a statement emailed by his attorney, Philadelphia lawyer Michael A. Schwartz. "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."
Kendricks went on to say that he "didn't fully understand the details of the illegal trades" but "knew it was wrong."