Federal authorities have charged former Eagles and current Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks with insider trading. According to charging documents released by the government today, Kendricks made $1.2 million from illegal trades that were based on tips given to him by former investment banker Damilare Sonoiki, who is also a former writer for the television show Black-ish.
According to the government, between July 2014 and November 2014 Sonoiki tipped Kendricks off to at least four corporate acquisitions that his investment bank was advising before those acquisitions were made public. Kendricks allegedly used this information to buy securities in the companies that were about to be acquired, and then rewarded Sonoiki with various kickbacks that included tickets to Eagles games and visiting the set of a Teyana Taylor music video.
Kendricks and Sonoiki seemed to understand what they were doing was illegal. The feds say the two tried to cover their tracks by avoiding talking over the phone and using coded text messages. In one such message, Sonoiki allegedly used “bread” and “cheesesteaks” as code words for kickbacks:
Shortly after the charges were announced, Kendricks, who signed with the Browns this offseason, released a statement acknowledging that he participated in insider trading, and that he is cooperating with authorities:
You can read the full charging document below:
Correction: A previous version of this post said that Sonoiki was a current writer for the television show Black-ish. He used to write for the show but no longer does.