Mychal Kendricks has been released by the Cleveland Browns after being charged with insider trading, and now he could face up to 12 months in prison.
The Browns announced Wednesday evening that they had cut ties with the linebacker, just hours after he was charged with using inside information to make $1.2 million in ill-gotten profits. As Fox News reported, Kendricks is accused of getting inside information between 2013 and 2015 from Damilare Sonoiki, an investment banker and writer for the television show Black-ish.
The charges claim that Kendricks paid Sonoiki $10,000 in kickbacks and also got him tickets for Eagles games and other VIP perks.
The Browns had signed Kendricks in June as a free agent after his time with the Philadelphia Eagles came to an end.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, Browns General Manager John Dorsey said that the team knew about the insider trading investigation but had believed Mychal Kendricks was working with investigators as a victim, not the target of the investigation.
“Recently, we were provided an update on the matter and the circumstances have changed,” Dorsey said. “We are now dealing with a different set of facts and the additional information we’ve gathered has led us to the decision to release Mychal from our team.”
Kendricks could have bigger problems. CBS Sports reporter Cody Benjamin reported that legal analyst David Weinstein says the linebacker is likely to face between eight and 12 months in prison, with the advised sentence higher but likely split up between the actual time in prison and house arrest or community service.
Spoke with attorney/legal analyst David Weinstein. He estimates #Browns LB Mychal Kendricks is likely to serve 8-12 months in prison for insider trading. Advisory sentence would likely be higher but reduced by split sentence, house arrest, community service, etc.— Cody Benjamin (@CodyJBenjamin) August 29, 2018
Mychal Kendricks could face up to 25 years in prison and a $5.25 million fine for his alleged role in insider trading. But the linebacker appears to be cooperating with authorities, and on Wednesday released a statement apologizing for his actions.
“I would like to apologize,” Kendricks said in the statement released by his attorneys via ESPN. “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.”
Mychal Kendricks said while he didn’t full understand the insider trading scheme in which he was participating, he knew that it was wrong. It is not yet clear whether he will plead guilty to the charges or when he could be sentenced.