A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst leaked inside tips about upcoming mergers to an NFL linebacker in return for tickets to Philadelphia Eagles games, the Justice Department said in announcing criminal charges against the two men.
Damilare Sonoiki, 27, then working at the bank, allegedly passed the information to his friend, Mychal Kendricks, 27, during an months-long scheme that earned the football player about $1.2 million, federal prosecutors in Philadelphia said.
The two allegedly exchanged nonpublic information through coded text messages and FaceTime video conversations, according to a parallel civil lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Kendricks invested in companies that were about to be bought out, and in one instance pocketed an almost 400 percent return on his investment in just two weeks.
“This matter involves multiple instances of insider trading,” the SEC said in its lawsuit.
A Goldman Sachs spokesman didn’t immediately return a call for comment. The Justice Department didn’t identify Sonoiki’s firm in a press release, but a regulator’s database lists him as a Goldman Sachs employee at the same time as the alleged scheme. He no longer works at the New York-based investment bank.
The plot allegedly ran from July 2014 to March 2015, prosecutors said. Sonoiki allegedly got $10,000 in kickbacks as well as perks like Eagles tickets, the U.S. said. After playing for the Eagles, Kendricks signed as a free agent with the Browns in June.
Kendricks’ lawyer, Michael Schwartz, didn’t immediately return a call for comment. It wasn’t immediately known who represented Sonoiki.
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