Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks was released by the team Wednesday night hours after being charged with insider trading by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Kendricks, along with co-defendant Damilare Sonoiki, were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud, per U.S. Attorney William McSwain.
Browns general manager John Dorsey released the following statement regarding the termination of Kendricks' contract:
"Prior to signing Mychal, we were informed that there was a financial situation that he had been involved with in 2014. We were told Mychal had fully cooperated with investigators as a victim. From what was communicated at that time and based on the numerous questions we asked and further due diligence on our part, including checking with the league office, there was no information discovered that conveyed otherwise.
"Recently, we were provided an update on the matter and the circumstances have changed. 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. Due to the ongoing legal nature of this situation, we will have no further comments."
Kendricks allegedly profited just under $1.2 million by using material non-public information from Sonoiki, a banker at a global investment firm, to make investments during the period of July 2014 to March 2015. In exchange for the information, Kendricks gave Sonoiki $10,000 and Eagles tickets, per McSwain.
If convicted, Kendricks faces a maximum possible sentence of 25-years imprisonment, a three-year period of supervised release and a $5,250,000 fine in addition to forfeiture of the money made from the offenses.
The NFL also released a statement saying "we are aware of today's developments and will review the matter."