Ex-Roommate and Co-Schemer of Former Eagles Linebacker Found Guilty of Trading on Inside Information Provided to Them
PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Mark Ramsey, 31, of San Francisco, CA, was convicted today at trial of insider trading charges arising from his use of non-public information provided to him and former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Marvin Mychal Kendricks by a Goldman Sachs investment banker with respect to four separate stocks.
Evidence presented at trial showed that the defendant traded on inside information provided by Damilare Sonoiki, at the time a junior analyst at Goldman Sachs, who had offered Kendricks information regarding upcoming mergers involving four Goldman Sachs clients. Ramsey and Kendricks purchased call options in the target companies between July 2014 and November 2014. When the proposed merger was announced in each case, the value of the options purchased by Ramsey and Kendricks increased significantly. During the period of the conspiracy, the trading conducted by Ramsey and Kendricks from Kendricks’ account resulted in profits of nearly $1.2 million on the four securities listed in the Superseding Indictment:
- The trading began when Sonoiki and Kendricks purchased call options for Compuware based on pending acquisition of Compuware that was known to Sonoiki. When Compuware announced on September 2, 2014, that it had been acquired by a private company, Kendricks made $78,423 in profits.
- Sonoiki provided Kendricks and Ramsey inside information on a second deal in which Goldman represented News Corporation, which was in talks to acquire Move, Inc. Ramsey and Kendricks purchased call options in Move during the month of September. When the News Corporation acquisition of Move was announced on September 30, 2014, Ramsey and Kendricks sold the open options contracts at profit of $278,701.
- In early October 2014, Sonoiki provided Kendricks and Ramsey with inside information about a pending acquisition of Sapient, another company represented by Goldman. Sapient was in discussions with Publicis Corporation regarding a merger deal. Ramsey began trading in Sapient on October 6, 2014. On November 3, the merger was announced, and Ramsey and Kendricks made a profit of $489,079.
- In October 2014, Oplink was in discussions with Molex, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, regarding a merger deal. Goldman represented Molex and Koch Industries. Ramsey purchased call options in Kendricks’s account between October 31 and November 17, 2014. Ramsey’s trading occupied so much of the open call option market that there was a Reuters article on November 19, 2014, suggesting that someone must have had insider information. The deal was announced on November 19, 2014, at which time Ramsey and Kendricks made a profit of $351,872.
Defendants Sonoiki and Kendricks previously pled guilty to insider trading and conspiracy charges based on these same events.
“Insider trading undermines faith in our financial markets and harms ordinary investors who play by the rules,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “Mark Ramsey placed himself above the law by cheating in the market and cheating other investors, and for that crime, a jury found him guilty. Our Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to maintain the integrity of the financial markets.”
“Mark Ramsey was given material, non-public information that he used to score an investment windfall. Exploiting such knowledge is illegal and today a jury has held him accountable,” said Bradley S. Benavides, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Insider trading undermines the trust necessary for our financial markets to function properly. The FBI is working hard to derail dishonest profiteers who cheat the system in this way.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Ignall and Eileen Zelek.