NFL player and comedy writer arrested for SEC violations

On behalf of Brewer, Pritchard & Buckley, P.C. posted in sec compliance and enforcement on Thursday, September 6, 2018.

When people are earning money from a lucrative job in Texas and throughout the U.S., there is an inevitable desire to take that money and build it into something even more substantial. People who are seeking to make significant profit in by investing will have the same desire. Often, that can lead to making mistakes with securities compliance. The Securities and Exchange Commission is intent on catching those who take part in illegal behaviors when investing including insider trading, manipulating markets and other transgressions. In some cases, familiar names crop up in the investigation and find themselves in trouble with the law and having issues at their job because of it.

A former linebacker for the Cleveland Browns and a television writer for the show “Black-ish” were charged with SEC violations including insider trading. The story came to light when SEC officials and the U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania announced the charges. The player, Mychal Kendricks, a former member of the Philadelphia Eagles and most recently the Browns, was said to have invested his money with a friend who used inside information for a profit. The TV writer, Damilare Sonoiki, has also been charged. It was Mr. Sonoiki who was an analyst at Goldman Sachs and provided the information.

Mr. Kendricks received around $1.2 million from the trades. Mr. Sonoiki got kickbacks from the NFL player for his earnings. Other benefits were exchanged between the two. A bank account was provided to Mr. Kendricks so he could get the funds and they communicated in codes via text message to hide the money. After his arrest, Mr. Kendricks was released by the Browns.

When investing in stocks or in business where investments are made, it is critical to remember to adhere to the law. Since it can be somewhat confusing as to the difference between an innocent tip and a violation of the law, having legal assistance with compliance is integral to avoiding legal jeopardy. When there is an allegation of illegality and SEC compliance and enforcement is involved, having a law firm that understands how the SEC goes about its business and can provide help in defending the case is imperative, especially when public figures are involved and their future depends on a successful outcome.