Will White Collar Crime End Mychal Kendricks’ NFL Career?

September 10, 2018

NFL linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been making headlines recently, but not for his athletic prowess. Kendricks pleaded guilty to federal charges of insider trading and will be sentenced in January 2019. It might sound like pleading guilty to a federal crime would halt a football career, but Kendricks actually just signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks instead.

What Is Insider Trading?

Insider trading is a notorious crime that has befallen many high-profile business figures, most notably Martha Stewart and Michael Milken. This crime of buying or selling a security on the basis of material, nonpublic information carries severe penalties.

Executives of publicly held corporations, investment bankers, and accountants are most commonly accused of insider trading, and only an experienced white collar criminal lawyer can craft the strategic defense needed to avoid jail time and penalties.

What Did Mychal Kendricks Do?

According to the U.S Attorney’s office, Kendricks and a bank analyst named Damilare Sonoiki conspired to design and advance a scheme in which Sonoiki gave Kendricks valuable non-public information regarding upcoming investment banking mergers and how those mergers would impact the prices of publicly traded securities.

Kendricks then took his non-public information and used it to purchase call options in companies that were predicted to benefit from future mergers. After the mergers occurred, Kendricks sold his options for a $1.2 million profit. According to to the Justice Department, Kendricks also rewarded Sonoiki with $10,000 in cash and tickets to Eagles games.

What Are the Consequences?

Kendricks committed this crime in 2014 and 2015 when he was playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, but it was not announced that he committed the crime until Kendricks was playing as a free agent for the Cleveland Browns.

Though the crimes with which Kendricks is charged – conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, and aiding and abetting – carry up to a 25-year prison sentence, the Seattle Seahawks nonetheless just signed Kendricks to a 1-year deal. It is yet to be seen how the NFL will respond to Kendrick’s’ charges.

If you have been accused of insider trading or another white collar crime yourself, don’t hesitate to find an aggressive criminal defense attorney who knows how to protect your rights and freedoms. Call (727) 497-7824 to schedule a case evaluation with The Law Office of Robert Eckard & Associates today.

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