Super Bowl champion Mychal Kendricks could face 25 years in prison for insider trading

Mychal Kendricks formally of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during Super Bowl LII practice at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been charged with insider trading after pocketing $1.2 million in a scam with a former investment banker. (AFP)
Updated 07 September 2018
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Super Bowl champion Mychal Kendricks could face 25 years in prison for insider trading

PHILADELPHIA: Former Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks pleaded guilty to insider trading charges on Thursday, and faces up to 25 years in prison.
US District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter asked Kendricks why he was pleading guilty.
“I’m making the decision because it’s the right thing to do,” he said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I know that I made the decision to accept information, secret information, and it wasn’t the right thing to do.”
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18.
Kendricks, who signed a one-year contract with the Browns in June after winning a Super Bowl title last season with the Eagles, used tips from an acquaintance to make about $1.2 million in illegal profits on four major trading deals, federal prosecutors said.
The Browns released him from the team on Aug. 29, after the charges were filed.
Prosecutors allege that his co-defendant, Damilare Sonoiki, was paid $10,000 in kickbacks in the scheme from 2014-2015, as well as received perks like tickets to Eagles games and the chance to tag along to a music video shoot or nightclub appearances.
Sonoiki had been working as a junior analyst at Goldman Sachs but left the financial field and has most recently been writing for TV shows.
Sonoiki’s lawyer told the Inquirer in an email that his client also would plead guilty, but no date has been set.


Ronaldo faces multi-million tax fraud fine in Madrid court

Updated 22 January 2019
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Ronaldo faces multi-million tax fraud fine in Madrid court

MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo is returning to Madrid for a court date on Tuesday in which he could be fined 18.8 million euros ($21.4 million) for tax fraud as part of a deal reached with the Spanish taxman.
As part of an agreement arranged in June with the former Real Madrid hero’s lawyers, prosecutors are also asking that the Portuguese attacker, who last summer left the Spanish capital for Italian champions Juventus, be handed a 23-month jail sentence.
However Ronaldo would not spend a day in prison as sentences of up to two years are generally not enforced in Spain for first-time offenders in non-violent crimes.
The hearing, due to start at 9:50 am (0850 GMT), is expected to last just a few minutes as the deal is officially presented to the judge.
He in turn will give the final sentence on Tuesday or the coming days, according to a spokesman for the court in northern Madrid.
Ronaldo will not be given special treatment when he arrives and will have to climb up the courthouse steps amid a likely media scrum despite the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s lawyers asking he be allowed to enter the building by car to avoid the spotlight.
The court president refused the request, saying that despite his “great fame,” he wouldn’t “compromise security” at the building, according to a court document.
His request to appear via videoconference was also denied.

Denial
Madrid prosecutors opened a probe into Ronaldo in June 2017 and he was questioned in July that same year.
“I have never hidden anything, nor have I had the intention of evading taxes,” he told the court then, according to a statement from the sports agency which represents him, Gestifute.
Prosecutors accuse him of having used companies in low-tax foreign jurisdictions — notably the British Virgin Islands and Ireland — to avoid having to pay the tax due in Spain on his image rights between 2011 and 2014.
His lawyers said there had been a difference in interpretation of what was and was not taxable in Spain.
The deal between Spain’s taxman and his lawyers has allowed Ronaldo to avoid having to sit through a long trial that could have damaged his image and seen him handed a heftier sentence.
Ronaldo is not the only footballer to have fallen foul of Spain’s tax authorities.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, once Ronaldo’s big La Liga rival, paid a two-million-euro fine in 2016 in his own tax wrangle and received a 21-month jail term.
The prison sentence was later reduced to a further fine of 252,000 euros, equivalent to 400 euros per day of the original term.

Accused of rape
But Ronaldo’s legal wrangles won’t be over after a probe was opened in the United States in October after a former American model accused him of raping her in Las Vegas in 2009.
Police in the western US city recently asked Italian authorities for a DNA sample from the footballer.
Ronaldo has always strenuously denied the accusations.
In a New Year’s Eve interview with Portuguese sports daily Record, he said he had a “calm conscience” and was “confident that everything will very soon be clarified.”