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SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Former NFL Player

In 2018, the SEC filed charges against Kendricks for alleged insider trading. The complaint alleges Kendricks began receiving insider information from co-defendant Damilare Sonoiki, an investment bank analyst, in the summer of 2014. Sonoiki allegedly shared proprietary, non-public information regarding upcoming potential corporate mergers based on information to which he had unique access at the investment bank.

In July of 2013, Kendricks opened a brokerage account called “Kendricks Account” and funded it with $80,000 from a brokerage account at another firm. The SEC alleges this was a blatant attempt to avoid questions from his financial advisors.

Soon after, Kendricks made the first of his allegedly unlawful trades based on information from Sonoiki regarding a corporate merger set to take place in September of 2013. After purchasing the stocks, Kendricks grew increasingly worried the merger would not take place. He expressed his uneasiness in several text messages to Sonoiki who assured him he would soon have good news.

Kendricks and Sonoiki allegedly took various measures to reduce the likelihood of being caught sharing insider information. The two conversed in coded texts messages, barely spoke over the phone, and used facetime as often as possible because they believed it to be untraceable.

After the first merger went through in September, Kendricks profited roughly $78,000 and provided Sonoiki with the first of many cash kickbacks and free tickets to Eagles games. The complaint alleges Kendricks went on to execute trades based on information provided by Sonoiki regarding at least three additional corporate mergers.

The alleged schemes came to an end in May of 2015 when Sonoiki lost his job at the investment firm and therefore lost access to insider information. Kendricks earned $1.2 million in profits from the allegedly unlawful trades and paid Sonoiki over $10,000 in kickbacks.

The final judgment entered against Kendricks permanently enjoins him from violating Sections 10(b) and 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5 and 14e-3 thereunder.  Kendricks is ordered to pay approximately $1.2 million in disgorgement of his profits.

You can find more information on this case and access the SEC Complaint at the following link https://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2020/lr24776.htm. If you have any questions about this or other securities-related issues, please contact Tomlinson & Shapiro, P.C. at (312) 715-8770.

Michael Shapiro
(312) 715-8770
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