Mychal Kendricks’ Absurd Insider Trading Scheme

If you’re reading this article, you don’t need us to tell you that football is a strange world unto itself. There’s something so surreal about the sheer amount of money the teams and players get for playing this game. That’s part of what makes Mychal Kendricks’ ostentatious and brazen insider trading scheme so crazy.

A player who could easily make millions of dollars legally by playing football joined a Goldman-Sachs broker in an absurd insider trading deal. The biggest question we all have is: why?

Photo Credit: NBC Sports

The Scheme

The Scheme involved Kendricks and his associate, a broker named Damilare Sonoiki, using insider information to turn $800,000 into more than a million dollars. That money was generated by Kendricks playing the market by taking options on four companies. The companies in question, it turns out, all received financial counseling from Goldman-Sachs. This scheme has been described as bizarre, not just due to the perpetrator, but also due to how bold it was.

Speaking on the matter, US attorney William McSwain made the following statement. “Mr. Sonoiki and Mr. Kendricks are alleged to have cheated the markets, cheated other investors and placed themselves above the law. I want the community to know that the FBI, the SEC and the U.S. Attorney’s office will do everything in our collective power to protect our financial markets and safeguard against insider trading and other kinds of securities fraud.

If you commit insider trading or any kind of securities fraud in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. Your background, your education, your professional success will not save you. It will not matter who you are. It will only matter what you did. And eventually, your crimes will catch up to you.”

Mychal Kendricks and Sonoiki

Mychal Kendricks, for his part, has expressed a great deal of regret over the ordeal, and has released statements to attest to that. The statement, released through his lawyer, ran as follows:

“I would like to apologize. 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.”

Even though he’s accepting his part of the blame, it seems likely Kendricks will be attempting to deflect to Sonoiki as much as possible. This legal defense is an interesting one, but the SEC seems rather adamant in their statements regarding their prosecution of the NFL star.

But Seriously… Why?

One can’t help but wonder why a player who literally won the Super Bowl last year would have thought he needed to engage in insider trading. Certainly NFL teams pay their players rather handsomely for the privilege to hit the field. Unfortunately for Kendricks, it seems like this will be the end of his NFL career.

The NFL is investigating Kendricks as this situation unfolds, and he has been kicked from the Browns, to whom he transferred for the 2018 season. What will become of his career from here, however, remains to be seen.